‘Extremely unsettling time’ for wary tourism operators

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Things are going well for the Niagara Parks Commission.

The first half of 2009, including two long weekends, brought better than expected crowds around the historic park area.

“It has been a good kickoff to the year,” said general manager John Kernahan.

“But I’m extremely fearful of what’s coming.”

After four years of false starts and minor concessions to its opponents, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative officially kicks in Monday, affecting travellers over the age of 16 in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as Americans returning from abroad at land or water ports.

Starting Monday, all those travellers will be required to have a passport or some other form of enhanced, U. S.-approved documentation to enter the States.

“It’s an extremely unsettling time. We’re happy with what we’ve done so far this year. We’re making the best of what we’ve got. Now we have to deal with a new law that threatens to bring all that down,” Kernahan said.

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