Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Quebec City is going all out to persuade tourists to visit the city this summer. A $27-million package of measures is aimed at helping the pandemic-battered tourism industry recover from a disastrous year.
A promotional video campaign, featuring people from around the world denied the opportunity to visit the city, targets tourists from all over Quebec and challenges them to “go enjoy it for all of us who can’t.” The campaign will be deployed in Ontario once provincial borders reopen.
At a news conference attended by provincial and municipal government officials on May 27, Mayor Régis Labeaume said, “Quebec City will be the destination for Quebecers.” As an incentive, people who book a two-night stay at a hotel in the city between June 24 and Oct. 11 will receive a $75 prepaid gift card to be used at participating businesses, from restaurants to attractions.
According to a news release, between 2,000 and 3,000 businesses in the city have been affected by the pandemic. The aim of the campaign is to boost occupation rates at local hotels by 15 per cent, to reach at least 65 per cent occupancy. Officials say such an increase would funnel an additional $70 million into hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.
Robert Mercure, the new director of Quebec City’s tourism office, said, “Today’s announcement allows us to give [businesses] some oxygen and a boost to make them even more attractive for the next season which will be a success, I’m sure.”
The city plans to spend $12.5 million on more than 1,000 activities to enliven the city from May to October, many of which will feature the work of local artists, performers and cultural organizations. The Quebec government has contributed $8.6 million to the program.
The snazzy video can be seen on the city’s tourism website at quebec-cite.com/en.