MONTRÉAL, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Tourism is an important economic sector for the city that creates many jobs, so it's good news that this industry is not only doing well, it is in strong growth mode. These are the findings from information compiled by Tourisme Montréal for the May-August 2014 period. Indeed, Greater Montréal's hotel data, Québec border crossing/entry data and Montréal airport passenger traffic data have all shown significant increases.
Hotel occupancy and rates on the rise
Hotel statistics for Greater Montréal1 show that, for the May-August period, the average hotel occupancy rate was 84.06%, an increase of 6.03 percentage points over the previous year. The average room rate was also up by 8.04%, going from $149.38 in 2013 to $161.38.
"This significant increase in the occupancy rate for summer 2014 is great news for hotel owners. We hope that tourists will enjoy staying in Montréal hotels, and that their experience will persuade them to continue visiting our city throughout the coming fall and winter seasons," said Eve Paré, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal.
More international tourists
For the May-July period, the number of international tourist arrivals across the Québec border2 from the United States and other countries rose by 7.2%. Of those arrivals, the number of U.S. tourists using an alternative mode of transportation (other than a car) for crossing the border increased by 10.5%.
"We are pleased to note that Montréal tourism performed extremely well throughout this past summer," said Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal. "Our city stood out on the international scene for a number of reasons: the stellar line-up of events and museum exhibitions, and the abiding popularity of Old Montréal. We are also happy to see a significant return of tourists from the U.S., especially those who choose to arrive by air or land for their visit."
Passenger traffic at Montréal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport3 for the May-July period increased by 6.6%.
Most of the city's major events – the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and the Just For Laughs Festival, as well as Osheaga – had very successful editions, with record attendance from outside Québec.
"Merchants in Old Montréal's historic district had a lot of customers this summer," said Mario Lafrance, General Manager of the Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal. "In fact, a number of them told me that it was their best summer in 15 years!"
Tourisme Montréal's unfailing efforts to attract visitors to the city
Several factors could explain Montréal's standout summer. For starters, the business tourism sector was booming in summer 2014, as the city hosted a number – 17, to be precise – of multi-hotel conventions, compared with only seven the previous summer. These events brought some 46,400 delegates here, who took time to explore the city's stores and attractions.
Tourisme Montréal played an active role in promoting the city as a tourist destination for the 2014 season. Here are just some of its initiatives to generate visibility and awareness for the city's tourism industry:
Tourisme Montréal regularly promotes Montréal among the Québec, Ontario and Northeastern United States markets. This year, in addition to its annual promotional efforts, Tourisme Montréal invested heavily in the Toronto market, to position Montréal as a top, short-stay urban destination. Two major campaigns were rolled out this summer, ensuring ongoing visibility for the city. The goal of the two campaigns was to position the city as a dynamic centre for professional sports, via the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, and also for music, via the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Through these two events, Tourisme Montréal was able to interact with consumers using contests, a web media campaign, blogger strategies and media relations.
All these initiatives combined resulted in a 70% increase in traffic on the mobile site, a 14% increase on the blog and an 8% increase on Tourisme Montréal's site.
The #MTLMOMENTS campaign continues to spearhead our other efforts, generating close to 10,000 tweets and more than 50,000 Instagram photos in 2014, in addition to a 209% increase in Instagram followers.
These are just some of the initiatives undertaken by Tourisme Montréal this year that have contributed to an extremely positive report of the summer 2014 tourism season.
To view Tourisme Montréal's report of the summer 2014 tourism season, go to: http://www.octgm.com/toolkit/fr/statistiques/bilan-ete-2014.pdf
About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the "Montréal" destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with ever-changing market conditions. For more information, visit www.tourisme-Montréal.org.
1 Source: Hotel Association of Greater Montréal
2 Source: Statistics Canada
3 Source: Aéroports de Montréal
SOURCE: Tourisme Montréal
For further information: Pascale Gagnon, Tourisme Montréal, 514 346-3376, gagnon.pascale@tourisme-Montréal.org