Tourism industry | towards better days

The worst is behind us, estimates Quebec Minister of Tourism Caroline Proulx, who expects her industry to earn $10.3 billion in 2022. Your bet: Many Québecians will enjoy their summer vacation here and, in addition to the route, will also see many foreign tourists who want to discover the province of Belle.

Posted at 6:00 am

Nathaelle Morissette

Nathaelle Morissette
The press

“There’s the Grand Prix that’s coming back, the festivals, the events where we’re finally stuck together here, in the Quartier des spectacles. I think people will want to experience that again,” she said in an interview with The press, a few days before the start of the Assises du Tourisme, which will take place this Thursday in Quebec. Mme Proulx will also announce financial support for the industry. However, no further details could be found.

If true, his guidance — subject to how the health situation unfolds — would mean a significant year-over-year increase when revenue hit $7 billion, or 20% more than 2020. But we’d still be a long way off the performance of 2019, when it posted $16.4 billion in revenue. That year, Quebec welcomed 35.9 million tourists. Of these, 26.6 million were from the province, compared to 9.3 million tourists from outside Quebec.

However, the ministry reminds that the World Tourism Organization has not foreseen a return to normal before 2024. Until then, Mme Proulx believes Quebec is on the right track.

In Montreal, Bertil Fabre, general manager of the Center Sheraton, forecasts 90% occupancy for the month of July, compared to 21% for the same period last year. “It’s a huge difference,” says the man, who also wears the hat of the president of the Greater Montreal Hotel Association. “It will allow us to pay off our debts of the last two years. »

I see summer in a very positive light.

Bertil Fabre, General Manager of the Sheraton Center in Montreal

For the summer, its clientele consists primarily of visitors from other Canadian provinces. According to him, Quebecers will pack their bags again to visit the regions.

Operation seduction

To attract vacationers from other countries, the government invested $5.3 million in an advertising campaign targeting markets in Ontario, the United States and France. Then the minister flies to Europe next week, where she will land in London, Paris and Brussels to “sell” Quebec as a tourist destination. The new connection between Paris and Quebec City and the Club Med in Charlevoix will attract many European tourists, according to Minister Proulx.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Caroline Proulx, Quebec Secretary of Tourism

The aim is to get tourists from Ontario but also Americans where we are in foreign currency.

Caroline Proulx, Quebec Secretary of Tourism

As examples, she cites hosting the Canadian Grand Prix and the return of cruising to the elements, which could appeal particularly to American customers.

And will Quebecers be there? The rise in air ticket prices, the cost of petrol and the situation in Ukraine creating a sense of insecurity in Europe are all factors that will encourage Quebecers to enjoy their holidays here, she says. A trend also observed by Nicolas Ryan, director of public affairs at CAA-Quebec.

Although data on Quebecers’ travel intentions will not be known until the end of the month, there is every indication that the majority of them will be vacationing here. Some could also be tempted by the United States and solar targets, he predicts.

In 2021, the summer has been particularly busy for many Quebec hoteliers thanks to the influx of visitors from here. So much so, that establishments in certain regions such as the Magdalen Islands, Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Côte-Nord recorded higher occupancy rates during the summer season than in 2017, 2018 and 2019, ie before the pandemic, when the borders were closed to everything open to foreign visitors. However, the Quebec and Montreal regions, popular destinations for international tourists, did not suffer the same fate as the others.

Maine and New Brunswick, which are now accessible, are also likely to attract many Quebecers, rivaling La Belle province’s attractions. “Do Quebecers go to Maine? Definitely,” replies the minister. It’s the same the other way around, she adds confidently.

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