Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date

Fall 2020


Comparative Analyses, Economic Relationships, Transportation


This research project examines cross-border travel through the lens of the tourism sector, and the effects of the border and cross-border travel on borderlands communities in the Cascadia region, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. It uses a dual approach, drawing on interviews conducted with regional stakeholders in the tourism industry from September 2019 to December 2019 as well as a survey of regional residents regarding their border-crossing habits and attitudes. As a starting point, the project sought to explore two questions:

1) Does the tourism sector market the region as a cross-border region and more specifically does it capitalize on the “Two Nation Vacation” concept to do so?

2) Does the tourism sector function in a cross-border way both in terms of promotion – targeting people from the other side of the border – and in terms of cross-border cooperation?

After processing the data collected through both the stakeholder interviews and the resident survey, this report highlights three main findings. Firstly, the Canada–U.S. border is generally viewed as a multi-faceted challenge for stakeholders and residents, in terms of exchange rate, political climate and security measures. Second, the border is seldom presented in the marketing strategies of the different stakeholders, thus representing a missed opportunity. Segmentation of the people living on the other side of the border is not a common strategy despite their importance. Thirdly, the seeds of cooperation have been planted but competition dynamics still prevail over cooperation.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Tourism--Canada; Tourism--United States; Cross-border shopping--Canada; Cross-border shopping--United States; Canada--Foreign and economic relations--United States; United States--Foreign and economic relations--Canada; Epidemics--Economic aspects--Canada; Epidemics--Economic aspects--United States

Geographic Coverage

Canada; United States






Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.