Canadians spend big south of the border
Shoppers drawn to U.S. by higher duty-free allowances, malls catering to Canadian guests
On the eve of Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days in the U.S., CBC Ottawa checked in with Syracuse, N.Y., to see how its economy is benefiting from this year's increase in duty-free allowances.
Canada's increased duty-free allowances came into effect on June 1 and staff at one mall in Syracuse said it has seen more Canadians coming through its doors since then.
To capitalize on that upward trend, the mall plans to advertise more aggressively in Canada, with direct marketing campaigns in cities such as Ottawa, as well as online techniques to target frequent shoppers.
But Syracuse is not seeing the boost only in shopping malls.
"Our Canadian neighbours have been an incredible part of our tourism picture and we keep seeing it grow," said David Holder, president of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We're seeing record numbers of Canadians coming down and being part of our off-Broadway scene. It's great. It's fantastic."
The CBC's Evan Dyer and Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco travelled to Syracuse — a three-hour drive from Ottawa — to speak to mall staff and tourism leaders about how and why they're trying to convince more Canadians to spend their money abroad.
Check out the following map for a breakdown of travellers crossing into Canada from the U.S. from June 1 to Sept. 30, 2011 (before the new duty-free allowances), and in the same time period in 2012. Click on the yellow shopping bags for more information.
At the Lansdowne port of entry, fewer people crossed the border in 2012 but about 6,000 more people paid duties and taxes on purchases in 2012 than they did in 2011. That means more people went to the U.S. to shop.
At the Prescott port of entry, nearly 100,000 more people crossed back into Canada in 2012 than in 2011.