Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Tourism on the rise in Montreal: Best spring in 20 years

TOURISME MONTRÉAL - Tourisme Montréal puts the city at the heartTourisme Montreal is reporting outstanding tourism rates for the spring of 2015. Economic indicators point to a substantial increase in tourism in the city during the April to June period. Montreal owes this rise in tourism to the many successful events and popular attractions on offer in the city, as well as the growing number of Americans coming to visit.

“Considering how important it is for the local economy, we are very pleased to report that the tourism industry is thriving in Montreal. The business travel sector continues to be buoyant and the number of foreign visitors has increased. It’s great news for us as a destination and for all stakeholders in the region. I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the various industry players who helped make this growth happen,” said Yves Lalumiere, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montreal.

The business travel sector was very active this spring, confirming Montreal’s status as an increasingly popular North American business destination. The numerous conferences, business meetings and sporting events held in the city helped attract additional business visitors. From January to April 2015, the number of business travelers, from all markets combined, increased by 14% over the same period in 2014, according to Tourisme Montreal’s numbers. When considering the U.S. market alone, the increase is up by 81%. This spike in business travel resulted in a 48% increase in hotel bookings. In addition, some 300 business meetings are held in the city every year thanks to the efforts from the sales teams at Tourisme Montreal and the Palais des congres de Montreal.

The most recent statistics from the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal also suggest that this spring was exceptional. Hotel occupancy rates on the Island of Montreal averaged at 80%, which is 2.3% higher than last year. What’s more, the average room rate is up by 6.9% and accommodation revenues rose by nearly 10.5% compared to the same period in 2014.

Meanwhile, Tourisme Montreal’s latest data shows that American tourists are coming to Montreal in large numbers. For the January to April 2015 period, the number of people entering the country at the Quebec border increased by 4.6%. This upward trend can be attributed to a confluence of factors, including a stronger American economy, a favorable exchange rate for Americans and a 30% decrease in fuel costs compared to last year. Tourisme Montreal anticipates a 7% to 10% increase in the number of American tourists visiting the city between now and the end of summer 2015.

There has also been a 4.7% increase in the number of visitors from other countries coming to Quebec. Total passenger traffic recorded at Montreal-Trudeau Airport rose by 4.1% for the January to May period, compared to the same months in 2014. The more than 6 million passengers who landed at Montreal-Trudeau Airport are not only a boon to Montreal’s tourism industry, they benefit the entire industry across Quebec.

Last but not least, Tourisme Montreal has noted a steady increase in the number of visitors on its digital platforms, which proves that recent marketing campaigns targeting the U.S. and French markets have been successful. Montreal Lights Up, Montreal Connects and Montreal Ignites all contributed to a 52% spike in the number of visitors on Tourisme Montreal’s blog from January to June, and a 9% increase in visitors on their digital platforms overall. This underscores Montreal’s appeal as a tourism destination.

“The next three years look very promising for Montreal. With urban tourism on the rise and the fact that Montreal is always adding to its tourist attractions, there’s no doubt that Montreal will continue to be the gateway through which international visitors enter Quebec,” added Mr. Lalumière.

Tourisme Montreal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the “Montreal” destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montreal’s tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.