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Hidalgo County sees increase in international shoppers following non-essential travel ban lift

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This weekend was the first official weekend that nonessential, vaccinated travelers from Mexico could cross into the county since March 2020.

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they expected a significant increase in people crossing into the country through the Valley's land ports of entry once the weekend arrived, and the prediction became a reality.

RELATED: Valley ports of entry reopen for non-essential travel

Some Valley business owners say they felt the impact of the border being closed to nonessential travel for the past 20 months. However, some business owners say the reopening couldn't come at a better time. 

"I've seen a huge increase in sales," Owner of Francia Fragancias in McAllen, Mayela Robles, said. "The Mexican nationals are very excited about being able to cross once again and shop on this side of the border. I've already seen a 40% jump in revenue. They're coming over and spending $600 — a thousand dollars at a time."

RELATED: U.S. reopens land borders with Mexico to vaccinated travelers

Business owners like robles remain optimistic that this week is a sign that brighter days are ahead for cross-border commerce.

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