Discouraged by the roadblocks, residents of the greater Québec City area have left downtown for the time of the Pope’s visit. Several traders even think that the fine profitable days of July have been wasted.
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The general manager of the Quebec Region Hotel Association, Alupa Clarke, is the first to say so. “Obviously there are fewer people than we thought. Because in the Plains we were talking about 100,000 people [hier] and it was empty. »
According to Mr Clarke, hotels have had to deal with cancellations in recent days. “There may be tourists who were a bit afraid that it would be too crowded or that there would be too many traffic problems. »
The co-owner of the Louis-Hébert restaurant on the Grande Allée, Ianny Xénopoulos, acknowledges that the circumstances are exceptional, but the finding is compelling.
“I won’t hide from you that the local clientele has been reluctant to come to town […] People, I think, kept a reserve. »
people were afraid
Julien Paris-Roy, co-owner of the El Cabron restaurant, also believes that the numerous road restrictions have annoyed many customers.
“It was pretty quiet. I think people were afraid of traffic. There were many announcements that getting into town would be difficult. »
On Wednesday, for the Pope’s walk on the Plains of Abraham, the merchants had planned two strong periods. After all, the city center was deserted in the early afternoon.
“We expected two rushes. Nothing happened off the Plains and when it ended on the Plains we had our wave,” explains Stéphane Lapointe, manager of the St-Hubert restaurant.
For the transmission of Pope Francis’ Mass in the Plains, the El Cabron restaurant decided today to bring forward its opening hours.
“We’re open for lunch because we told ourselves if there’s a time when there’s a lot of people during the day, it’s the fair,” says Julien Paris-Roy, complaining about an empty terrace.