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Weak Dollar Deterring Some Canadians from Cross-Border Shopping

September 28, 2015 10:42 AM | News

Pembina, ND Border

Vehicles wait in line to cross the U.S. border in Pembina, North Dakota. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA FILE)

WINNIPEG — A new survey reveals more than half of Manitoba adults have ventured south of the border by car in the past year.

The Probe Research poll found Grand Forks, North Dakota to be the most popular destination for Manitobans (68%), followed by Fargo (37%) and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (23%).

Despite the weak Canadian dollar, which 67% of respondents said would deter them from visiting, cross-border trips by car are still the most common.

The average Manitoba traveller stayed three days in the U.S. (25%), with 24% of those surveyed opting to go for one day or less. Shorter such trips are subject to paying duty on goods purchased upon returning. Five days (22%), four days (16%), and two days (13%) rounded out the picture.

Probe also found that travellers said a different variety of products offered in the U.S. was the main reason for crossing the border. Two-thirds of those said American merchants should be offering better deals to Canadians to entice them to visit. The main item purchased was alcohol, with 79% spending less than their allowable limit.

A total of 816 Manitoba adults (and 421 cross-border motorists) were surveyed online between July 21-29, 2015. The survey has a margin of error of ± 4.51 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.