Cape May County Tourism Board hopes Canadian tourists return this summer now that border is open

Officials in southern New Jersey are hoping that Canadian tourists will return now that the border between the United States and Canada has opened after two years. But some hurdles still remain.
“Every dollar they put in their tank today is going to probably impact what they have for their vacation in July,” says Diane Wieland, director of tourism and information in Cape May County.
The rise in gas prices is bringing to worry the officials of many Jersey Shore communities – towns that rely on tourists each year.
"There's going to be people who can't afford a vacation and then there's gonna be those who are going to shorten their vacation. Maybe instead of a week, it's gonna be three or four days,” Wieland says.
Cape May County not only draws visitors from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., but about 10% of tourists come from Canada. And now that the border is open, most of the Canadian visitors are driving through.
“We know that they want to come here. We know that they’re a big part of the economic impact for Cape May County. However, we’re going to see some changes and I can only predict that it may be shorter stays,” says Wieland.
“It’s going to remain to be seen if these gas prices will curb that desire because people have been homebound for the better part of two years. That will be a wait-and0see game,” says Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Cape May County is also predicting that how people spend their money may also change.
"It could be that they're not going out to dinner and they're not getting three meals out. They're only maybe going to do two or maybe it's a boardwalk cuisine and a pizza and a soda for lunch and then something takeout for dinner. But we know that's going to happen,” Wieland says.
The Cape May County Tourism Board says Canadian visitors spend about $50 million or $60 million each year, making an impact on those beach towns.