According to the most recent data compiled by Tourisme Montréal, the summer season was excellent for tourism in Montréal, generating wealth and jobs for the province. Compared to last year, tourist numbers increased across the board, including crossings at the Québec border, traffic at the Montréal Airport and hotel statistics for the Greater Montréal Area. This upward swing can be attributed to the success of major events and festivals taking place in the city, the popularity of Montréal’s attractions and current economic conditions.
“Montréal has earned an enviable position among the world’s leading urban tourist destinations. After a spring that exceeded our expectations, the summer period proved just as busy. Tourisme Montréal is particularly pleased that this influx of tourists—who came primarily from Ontario and the United States—made their way to local businesses and attractions. Montréal is enjoying this boom thanks to its creativity and the exceptional spirit of collaboration between industry partners,” said Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
For the months of June through August, the number of American tourists crossing at the Québec border rose by 9.8%. The number of visitors coming by car increased by 12.5%, the biggest jump this year. Meanwhile, the total number of passengers arriving through Montréal-Trudeau Airport increased by 4.4% during the same period. New direct flights from around the world are opening up new markets that will be strategic for Montréal over the next few years.
According to the most recent statistics from the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, hotels in the Greater Montréal Area enjoyed an 85.7% average occupation rate from June to September, 2015. The average room rate increased by 4.9% and accommodation revenues rose by 8.7% compared to the same period in 2014.
Montréal also owes its encouraging summer numbers to good performance in the business and sports sectors. Five major conferences, including those for the American Association for Justice and the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute, each with multiple-hotel bookings were held in Montréal, bringing some 6,000 delegates to the city. Montréal also hosted several major sporting events this summer, such as the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which attracted fans and tourists from around the world.
Local attractions also cashed in, with attendance numbers increasing by 8% on average. Some 200,000 people viewed the Rodin exhibit at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, while 124,000 admired the works of David Altmejd and Jon Rafman at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. The McCord Museum drew 50,000 visitors with the exhibit Horst: Photographer of Style. And finally, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum was very successful with its international exhibit The Aztecs, People of the Sun.
Lastly, Tourisme Montréal attributes the spike in tourism to some innovative marketing campaigns and enhanced efforts in international press relations to promote Montréal as a destination. The popularity of Tourisme Montréal’s digital platforms is an indicator of the amount of enthusiasm the city is generating. “We will continue to promote the destination in 2016, as we gear up for Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations in 2017,” added Yves Lalumière.