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Gananoque, Ont. tourism operators excited about border rule changes

Tourism operators across Gananoque, Ont., are celebrating the recent announcement that COVID-19 restrictions will be eased at the Canadian border, even if some people — like the general manager of Gananoque Inn & Spa, Melissa Bentley — believe the timing could have been better

“I think it’s a great thing,” Bentley said. “Again, I think it’s a little bit late for this season but hopefully it’ll help us maybe a little bit through the winter”

Starting on Oct. 1, travellers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or fill out the ArriveCan app upon entering Canada — an app tourism coordinator Jennifer Baril is all too familiar with.

“A lot of the people that I see in the office here are usually seniors and they don’t always have access to a cellphone or the ability to download and use their data or wi-fi,” Baril said.

Despite the restrictions, Baril says this has been one of their better years.

“We’re sitting at about 70 per cent of the traffic that we saw coming into the office in 2019,” Baril said, “and 2019 was our busiest year here yet.”

With tourism season coming to an end, tourism operators across the town like Jane Dickson are looking towards the future

“More restrictions will be lifted, the ArriveCan app would have gone away, so we’re hoping for a much more normal year next year,” Dickson said.

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