Montreal tourists up but why?
Montreal tourists up – It appears Montreal is experiencing a record-breaking year for tourists and the dollars they are spending. In fact, many are saying it is the ‘best year since Expo 67’. But it’s not simply because of the city’s 375th celebrations, as Mayor Coderre would have it.
According to an estimate prepared and released on September 12th, by the Conference Board of Canada for Tourisme Montreal, Montreal is on track to have received over 11 million tourists who will have spent $3.6 billion dollars in this fair city – up 9.09% from last year.
Yves Lalumière, the President and CEO of Tourisme Montreal, said that although the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations had an impact on the increase – only one in three visitors to Montreal in 2017 were even aware of the celebrations and events around it.
The agency also credits the advantageous exchange rate as part of what drew more U.S. visitors, as well as their marketing efforts in countries like China and Mexico – which resulted in a 32% increase in tourists from China and a 119% per cent increase in tourists from Mexico. As well, the increase in Mexican visitors could very well be attributed to the Visa requirements that were dropped by the Federal government last December. Many of the Mexican visitors might easily have been inspired to come here because of what has been transpiring politically in the United States and to see what we have to offer.
Another impact on the increase could also very well be due in part to the Just For Laughs 35th anniversary edition – with the festival selling out a record 42 shows. There are also other major mainstay events and festivals drawing the crowds here every year, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Formula One race, to name a few.
As for the new Formula E electric car race, well, the city appears to have challenges in crunching the numbers and releasing them before the November 5th municipal elections, but any one of us could have stood there and counted the number of people who attended – and who actually paid for their tickets or the upgrades that were freely handed out. The only thing offered was the ‘Mission Accomplished’ statement by Mayor Coderre. Which ‘mission’ and what was actually ‘accomplished’ remains to be seen – but one thing for certain, the 375th anniversary celebrations are clearly not the sole reason behind the record-breaking year.
But the bottom line, no matter what proves to have been the greatest impact on the increases this year – it is excellent news for businesses and the subsequent tax revenues, as well as the reputation of Montreal being one of the greatest cities in the world!