Some are excited about the resumption of tourist activity around the world. We still have to agree on which ones.
In Quebec, according to some restaurateurs, tourist recreation is an excellent thing.
But who but a few merchants can rejoice in the return of hordes of tourists arriving in Old Quebec with the sole purpose of strolling there behind a guide’s flag?
Many cities around the world suffer from poor tourism.
Several Quebec villages, like Percé, are real tourist traps.
The Montréal case
The tourist chaos is also visible in Montreal.
For example, La Ronde, previously owned by the city of Montreal and sold to American private interests, has become a hideous money machine that has completely defaced the site. The Lac des Dauphins is no longer really accessible and seems to be being filled up. The prospects are all ruined. Advertising is everywhere. The food is expensive, American and of poor quality. The music is almost exclusively in English. The site has frankly become ugly and even awkward compared to what it was before.
The problem is that our leaders still see tourism as it was in the 20th century, before the selfie era.
Talking about Montreal being a festive city makes no sense in 2022. More and more of Montreal’s peaceful neighborhoods are invaded by various, often mediocre, tourist activities that disturb the tranquility of residents.
Sometimes you might think that elected community officials got the wrong job and should have become camp entertainers. But citizens are not children who want to have fun. This helps drive residents out of the big cities.
There are solutions to mass tourism.
The first is to stop promoting it with festivals that follow one another incessantly.
Without a cruise ship ban, several towns and villages could levy fees on foreign tourists not staying overnight, as is the case in Venice.
Some national parks might impose foreign visitor quotas, as do the creeks near Marseille.
One of the lessons learned from the pandemic was to show that Quebec’s economy doesn’t need tourism to be good. Not that tourism should stop or that it doesn’t also contribute to the economy, but that it’s high time to promote quality tourism over quantum tourism.
In addition, the shortage of labor is driving in this direction.
It would be in the interests of almost everyone if there were fewer activities in the future Fast food and more quality tourism activities. The salaries would be better and the pages nicer.