Casey Richardson

Insurance price comparison company HelloSafe shared survey results on the five best things to buy from each side of the border, where Canadians and Americans can get deals.

The town of Osoyoos often has people travelling the quick ten minute drive to the U.S. border, and since restrictions have eased, people have started to come through once again.

“Lots of people like the cheese and the milk from the States, they prefer it to Canada. A lot of people here who live in town will go down there and buy gas, because I think it’s still a little bit cheaper, even with the gas prices up. And several people have mailboxes down there. And so they will go down and get their mail and bring it back,” said Sue McKortoff, the mayor of Osoyoos.

Canadians travelling into the U.S. can find good deals on beddings and towels, toys, jeans, footwear and electronics. Americans who come north can find deals on cheese, tourist attractions, hotels, new cars and medicine, according to the survey.

The Osoyoos Duty Free Shop has had an especially difficult past two years, dealing with a border closure essentially closing their business.

Now that some travellers have returned, shop owner Cameron Bissonnette said that he’s seeing people purchase the usual items.

“The majority of our clients are Canadians. About 80 per cent of our clients are Canadians, 20 per cent are Americans. We have an American client in the store right now. Most of the people will buy spirits, like vodka, rum, right, that kind of thing. Fragrances and cosmetics. So they’re still going for those traditional duty free products right now,” he said.

McKortoff said she’s noticed most of the traffic coming back into Canada are snowbirds, who shared they waited for the PCR test requirement to drop in order to return to town.

Canada’s entry requirements continue to evolve this year as countries around the world open up their borders to visitors, with many others also dropping COVID-19 testing requirements for entry.

“There have been lots of motorhomes, lots of trailers coming back,” McKortoff said. “It hasn’t been as busy for sure at our border crossing as it has in other places down the coast, for sure.”

“We are getting some Americans who have come to visit family and that kind of thing. So we don’t really have the the weekend getaway people yet. I know we will,” Bissonnette said.

The traveller uptick so far has been slow, something the resort town hopes to see change heading into summer.

“We’re hoping that we’re going to get more people having a higher level of comfortability crossing the border. I think there’s still some hesitation,” Bissonnette said. “We just want to see people traveling, we’re open, we’re ready for business.”

“We are a resort municipality. We want tourists here to fill up our our resorts in our hotels, but we also want people to be sensible and to be patient and to be kind,” McKortoff added.


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