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We're still heading across the border, but not spending as much

(iStock Photo)

BELLINGHAM (NEWS 1130) – Canadians are heading south for vacations, but they’re still not spending.

Retail trade was up across Washington State in the fourth quarter of last year, except for Whatcom County. It actually dipped by 5.2 per cent during that period.

“We’re actually looking at a fairly robust tourism market right now. And a lot of that is predicated on the fact we’ve added so many hotel rooms, new properties in the last year and a half to two years. So our tourism in total number is up,” says Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism president Loni Rahm.

But she admits the low loonie is having an effect.

“Definitely… our Canadian visitation is down. We attribute that directly to the low Canadian dollar,” says Rahm.

She adds many tourism destinations doing what they can to lure shoppers.

“Bellis Fair Mall ran a weekend Canadian at par not long ago. It was so succesful that they’re going to be doing it every Canadian three-day holiday, they’re going to offer at-par to our friends from the north.”