Tourisme Montréal is kicking off what it expects to be a record year for pleasure and business travel in the city. 2017 will be marked with non-stop celebrations as more than 175 events are planned for Montréal’s 375th anniversary. This year, Montréal’s position and reputation as a must-see North American tourist destination will reach new heights.
According to Tourisme Montréal’s projections, the city will see tourist volumes jump by 5.3% over 2016. Some 10.7 million visitors are expected to bring in $3.6 billion tourist dollars, an 8.1% hike over last year. By way of comparison, the city welcomed 10.2 million tourists in 2016, for a total of $3.3 billion tourist dollars1.
Tourisme Montréal is indicating that growth will primarily come from overseas (7.5%) and the United States (5.7%). In fact, the rise in overseas tourists has been sustained for the past several months. In 2015 alone, the number of visitors from this market crossing Québec borders increased by 2.8% over the year prior. In 2016, traffic from this market soared with a 12.1% increase during the January to October period compared to the same period in 2015.
New direct flights to and from Montréal have contributed to the influx of international travellers. Tourisme Montréal anticipates a significant upturn in the number of Chinese visitors resulting from a 223% increase in seats—3,000 per week—on flights from Shanghai and Beijing. For the January to November period of 2016, the number of Chinese visitors entering at Québec borders increased by 114%. This is another indicator that tourist volumes from this market will be high in the coming years.
“The tourism industry generates a lot of revenue for Montréal. Without a doubt, this anticipated growth reaffirms the economic importance of tourism. We’re entering 2017 with a lot of enthusiasm. The excitement that’s building for Montréal is very positive for local businesses, hotels, restaurants and attractions, all of which will have the chance to put their best foot forward during the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.
The business travel market also looks very promising this year. Montréal will host several major meetings, including the annual National Metropolis conference, as well as those for the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the Association Francophone pour le savoir, the International Association of Public Transport and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
Montréal will also enhance its international reputation by hosting the 2017 FIG International Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and the Formula E, which will be held for the first time in Montréal next July.