Tough Times for Tourism in La Belle Province: Quebec’s Travel Markets Outlook to 2024

The Conference Board of Canada, 13 pages, February 23, 2021
Issue briefing
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This report contains a review of and outlook for tourism activity in Quebec, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the public health restrictions on tourism. It examines domestic, U.S., and overseas activity as well as considering the situation in Montréal and Québec City.

Document Highlights

  • Total visits to Quebec in 2020 are forecast to have declined by almost half, Quebec being one of the provinces hit hardest by COVID-19. This has, and will continue to have, huge impacts on the over 400,000 people employed in tourism industries in the province.
  • Limits on international travel led to more intraprovincial travel in Quebec. Campsites became popular destinations for Quebecers throughout the summer of 2020, as many sought more open spaces.
  • In the early stages of the pandemic, Montréal faced stricter public health restrictions than many other metropolitan areas in Canada. Events such as the Comedy Festival, Jazz Festival, and Grand Prix were cancelled. Hotel occupancy rates in the city dropped dramatically.
  • With financial support and targeted investment, the provincial government is making efforts to limit damage to the travel and tourism sector until a recovery is possible. Nevertheless, the pandemic is likely to have deep and long-lasting impacts across the industry.
  • Overnight pleasure visits to Quebec are expected to return to their 2019 level by 2024. However, overnight business trips, made less necessary by virtual conferencing, are projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels beyond 2024.

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