Montreal will receive up to eight million tourists this year, 70% more than last year, predicts Tourisme Montreal, which is delighted to finally see the hotels of the metropolis full of clients. But the return to the pre-pandemic situation will not happen before 2024.
Posted yesterday at 3:00 pm
After 30 lean months, Montreal’s tourism industry finally seems to be picking up heading into summer. “We had a rough time, but we kept all our hotels and all our festivals,” Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal, told a news conference on Tuesday. “Even we are surprised by the speed with which tourists return. We are very happy. »
We were the epicenter of the country’s health crisis. Now we want to be the epicenter of recovery.
Yves Lalumière, Executive Director of Tourism Montreal
The effect of the end of major international travel restrictions and the return of big summer events is already being felt in Montreal hotels. For the Grand Prix (weekend of June 17), 97% of the rooms have already found interested parties. Tourisme Montréal announces an occupancy rate of 89% for the Osheaga Festival (July 29-31) and 85% for the International Jazz Festival (June 30-July 9). For the entire summer, the occupancy rate should reach 70% and the average price of a room will exceed that of 2019.
The resumption of international flights will also encourage the arrival of thousands of visitors to Montreal in the coming months. Air Canada has thus announced the return of 27 air routes. New flights between the metropolis and San Diego, Milan, Seattle and Nashville have just launched or are about to. Air Transat recently launched a Montreal-Los Angeles route. In July, more than 31,000 seats will connect Montreal and France each week. The same month, some 58,000 seats will be offered weekly between metropolitan France and US airports.
The return of cruising on the St. Lawrence, with 16 ships making 45 port calls this summer, will attract up to 50,000 visitors and generate $30 million in economic benefits. This is half that before the pandemic, but forecasts for 2023 point to sustained growth in this sector.
After the pandemic, the shortage
It is no longer the pandemic that is holding back the recovery of tourism, but the shortage of labor. “We still need 2,000 or 3,000 people in the hotel and restaurant industry, explains Yves Lalumière. And the situation is a little more difficult in restaurants. »
Tourisme Montréal does not believe that the gastronomic reputation of the metropolis is in danger, for the time being. The return to the city center of the employees of the federal and provincial governments would continue to be a great help for the restaurateurs, judge Lalumière.
Even if the indicators are all green, it will be necessary to wait until the summer of 2024 to recover the tourist influx before the pandemic, Tourisme Montréal predicts. As for business tourism, the return to normality will have to wait until 2025. Until then, the organization intends to multiply visibility campaigns, even if that means making deficits.
Tourisme Montréal announced its forecasts as part of the launch of its summer season on the theme “A thousand and one moments to share”, on Tuesday at the Grand Quai du Vieux-Port. In addition to the return of major cultural festivals, the coming months will be marked by major conventions, including Lions Clubs International and the 24thY International AIDS Conference and various sporting events, including the NHL draft session, the Copley Group Triathlon World Championships, the Bank National Tennis Open, and the International Cycling Union’s Quebec and Montreal Cycling Grands Prix .
- 11.5 million
- Number of tourists received in Montreal in 2019, of which 15% came from the United States and 14% from foreign countries
Source: Montreal Tourism
- The number of international visitors to Montreal this summer is expected to be around 71% of the level reached in 2019.
Source: Montreal Tourism
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