Québec, June 14, 2010 – “Despite several limiting factors for the tourism industry, among other things the outbreak of [AH1N1] flu and the recession, the 2009 tourism season was on par with 2007, our benchmark year,” observed Gabriel Savard, Director of Québec City Tourism (QCT). In the presence of the Mayor of Québec City, Régis Labeaume, and some 250 members of the industry gathered together at a general assembly today, Mr. Savard drew a portrait of 2009.
Given the exceptional year for tourism in the area in 2008 and to better reflect the reality, the results for 2009 were compared against those obtained in 2007.
Like the global recession that hit all markets, the 2009 tourism year showed mixed results. Even with a 2.6% drop in the tourism composite index compared to 2007, i.e., the weighted sum of the four indicators of the regional tourist activity, 2009 was still within the average for the past few years.
- Except for the months of July and August, which saw respective increases in traffic of 1% and 5.3% over those of 2007, all the other months of the year saw a 1% to 5% drop in activity. The rain at the start of the summer partially explains the poor performance observed in the second quarter and, in particular, the 7.6% drop in the month of June compared to 2007, the biggest drop of the year. Despite these results, the Québec City area recorded between 2007 and 2009 the best tourism performance of all major metropolitan areas in Canada.
- The hotel occupancy index for the area ended down 2.1% (1.7% for Québec City and 10.5 % for RCMs) compared to 2007, with some 52,500 fewer rooms rented. With a 7.3% drop, the month of June was the worst. The gains were essentially achieved in the summer period.
- The Vieux-Québec boutiques and shops patronage index reached 101.8, a 1.8% increase over 2007. The gains were mostly achieved at the beginning and at the end of the year. Here, again, the month of June was the most unfavourable, with a 10.7% drop.
- The sites and attractions attendance index recorded the worst performance, with a 10.1% drop. Every month of the year saw results below 2007 levels, with December ( 16.6%) showing the biggest drop. Outdoor attractions ( 15.2%) were particularly affected by the erratic weather throughout the year. The indoor attractions index saw a 5.7% drop compared to 2007.
- The restaurant occupancy index was 97.9, down 2.1% from 2007. Except for the months of January, July and August, every month of the year showed results below 2007 levels.
In conclusion, except for the boutiques and retail shops sector, the various sectoral indices show results below 2007 levels.
Highlights regarding QCT
Below is an outline of noteworthy facts for Québec City Tourism for 2009.
- Administration of a $1714.8 M operating budget in 2009, down 14.5% from 2008
Note: This drop is in large part attributable to a drop in revenues from the accommodation tax and special revenues attributable to the promotion of celebrations associated with Québec City’s 400th anniversary
- Arrival of the new director on April 27 (Gabriel Savard).
- Signing and renewal of agreements with Canada Economic Development and the Bureau de la Capitale-Nationale.
Summary of activities carried out in 2009
A number of development, promotional, advertising, communication and hosting activities were carried out throughout the year ending on December 31, 2009. Here are a few examples:
- In total, QCT, Ville de Québec, the Canadian Tourism Commission, QCT’s members, the Government of Quebec, the ministère du Tourisme du Québec and Canada Economic Development invested some $8.15 M in marketing communications activities in 2009. Overall, this is a significant decrease, as QCT devoted $10.9 M to this aspect in 2008.
- QCT completed a major online marketing project with a complete overhaul of its website.
- The area hosted 467 journalists and 623 tourism generators.
- In business tourism, a stronger focus was placed on local markets and the international market. 44 activities were carried out and 236 special visitors were received.
- Tourist information offices provided some 66,000 pieces of information to the visitors who frequented the offices in 2009, a 6.5% increase over 2007.
The 2007 data from Statistics Canada associated with the most recent forecasts of the Conference Board, which seem to indicate a 2% drop in tourism attendance for 2009 over 2007, made it possible to extrapolate that at least 4.4 million tourists came to the area in 2009. Despite this drop, the Québec City area recorded the best performance of all major cities in Canada between 2007 and 2009.
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Source :Sylvie Walter, Communications Advisor
Québec City Tourism
418-641-6654, ext. 5482