The CANAMEX route has a significant impact on tourism. Increased safety for recreational vehicles, especially those with elderly drivers is an important feature that is reflected in the reduced accident rates that Interstate usage shows. More accidents involving larger vehicles (including tractor trailers, recreational vehicles and towed caravans) occur on rural or regular roads than anywhere else. This is for a number of reasons and road construction/visibility is a major factor in many of these. The ability to travel easily and safely is a major step forward in the creation of CANAMEX and other similar corridors where not only does the trucking and trade industry benefit, but those seeking recreation and leisure activities benefit too.
Arizona has a booming tourist industry and a seasonal visitor industry that is probably only matched by Florida. Every year a huge number of retired or semi-retired people migrate seasonally south and either spend the Winter in a rented house, enjoying local amenities and doing the things that retired people generally do such as cultural activities, theatre, golfing and in Arizona, gambling too. This influx not only puts a heavy load on the highways as these people make their way south to find warmer climes, but it also puts them on the road for several days. The services these seasonal migrants need along the way can vary, many currently drive large recreational vehicles a long distance and need adequate services to provide for them. Improving the route from the North would not only allow for more of this tourism and winter stay, it provides more places for them along the way to enjoy tourism, which will be much more accessible to them. Many tourists that come to Arizona also visit Las Vegas on their travels; being on the Corridor Route and more easily accessible this is of further boost to tourism in the region. More about Arizona tourism and the Smart Corridor here.
There is a large industry to be tapped through the improvements that the CANAMEX Corridor brings. Their vision is still that of a Smart Corridor – as outlined in the original planning stages by experts from the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University. The Smart Corridor concept was stated in their Corridor Operations Plan back in 2002. Pertinent features of the plan included
- Fibre-optic broadband laid completely along the route and fed to the outlying region.
- Integrated information systems to assist travelers and tourists to find important information such as weather, directions, hotels, tourist attractions, National Park maps. etc.
- Informational support for tourist organizations and bureaus.
- Development of a common information platform used across agencies and States to harmonize and share information.
The creation of the Corridor would encourage a safer environment for all traveling. Sufficient lanes to allow tractor trailer units to navigate easily with better visibility. Those in recreational vehicles have more room to manouver, better facilities right by the highway to prevent them getting lost or stuck in local traffic – and to find their way easily to a place to park overnight where there are recreational and tourist facilities and opportunities.