In September, 982,249 passengers crossed southbound into Whatcom County, according to data from Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute. That’s a 27.38 percent decrease from September 2014, when 1,352,286 people crossed southbound into Whatcom County.
So far, border traffic numbers in every month this year have lagged behind 2014’s numbers. The drop in visitors from the north is mostly caused by the Canadian dollar losing value compared to the U.S. dollar, making shopping in the U.S. less worthwhile.
For Canadians, 60 percent of trips into Whatcom County involve shopping, according to a June 2015 report by the Border Policy Research Institute.
On average, the Canadian dollar was worth 75 cents U.S. in September, down 16 cents or 17.58 percent from September 2014.
The Canadian dollar is currently worth 76 cents, according to the Bank of Canada.