Tourisme Montréal stepping up efforts to counter impact of economic crisis



    MONTREAL, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Tourisme Montréal today unveiled the
strategies to be deployed to counter the impact of the world economic crisis
which has hit Montréal's tourism industry hard. Relying largely on the Web,
the organization seeks to explore new markets, target clients less impacted by
the economic slowdown and seek out the assistance of influential community
players to spur tourism in Montréal.
    "The year 2009 will be one of challenges for Tourisme Montréal. Whereas
the majority of observers point to a decline in tourism industry revenues,
Tourisme Montréal aims, despite the current juncture and ever fiercer
competition from rival cities, to redouble efforts to attract tourists to
Montréal," stated Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Tourisme Montréal. "Doing more with less while differentiating ourselves from
our ever more competitive rivals, such is the essence of the challenge which
lies ahead for Tourisme Montréal," Mr Lapointe went on to add.
    In 2009, according to Tourisme Montréal projections, the number of
tourists staying in the city for 24 hours or more should total 7.3 million
visitors, representing a decrease of 1.6% compared with 2008. Tourist
expenditures should nonetheless remain stable at $2.12 billion.

    Leisure market

    Aimed at markets in North America, France, the United Kingdom and Mexico,
Tourisme Montréal's 2009 leisure campaign will target HHAUs (hedonistic,
heterosexual, affluent urbanites) and gay travellers. "Our efforts will focus
on sectors of the population less impacted by current economic instability as
we enhance our presence in ever more diversified markets. In 2009, in
cooperation with our partners at Tourisme Québec, we will be making our voice
heard more clearly in markets in France and Mexico. Tourisme Montréal will
also devote particular attention to the gay community and will be exploring
the California market in greater depth," underscored Mr Lapointe. Tourisme
Montréal's 2009 leisure campaign boasts a three-point goal: increase
Montréal's notoriety as a destination of choice for short urban getaways, spur
consumers to come to Montréal by showcasing the Sweet Deal (which features a
third night at half price), and help potential tourists plan their trips.
    After having launched an all new website in 2008 and extensively
monitoring all manner of Web-related information about Montréal since 2005,
Tourisme Montréal is pursuing efforts in 2009 with a major shift to Web-based
advertising. Dictated by the changing buying habits of consumers the majority
of whom now rely largely on the Web to do their travel shopping, this shift
has led to the launch of a 100% Web-based campaign for markets in North
America.
    The campaign is centred around five blogs, one on each of arts and
culture, epicurean life, nightlife in Montréal, gay life and girls' getaways.
Hosted on the Tourisme Montréal website and maintained by individuals with a
passion for Montréal, these blogs feature original columns on destination life
and attractions designed to enable thousands of Web browsers to tap into
Montréalers' passion for their city. Browsers can also use the site to share
their impressions with others. In 2009, a transaction facility will be added
to the Tourisme Montréal website to facilitate the purchase of the appealing
travel packages advertised by Tourisme Montréal and partners.

    Business market

    As a result of concerted action by the sales team of Tourisme Montréal,
Palais des Congrès de Montréal and hotel partners, a significant number of
conventions will be held in Montréal in 2009. In this regard, Tourisme
Montréal intends to implement a number of measures designed to enhance
convention attendance. Action includes a competitive financial incentive
program, microsites, personalized communications, and attractive pre- and
post-convention hotel offers. A $1.4 million business campaign replete with an
important direct marketing thrust will be deployed in markets in North America
and abroad. "The strategy behind Tourisme Montréal's business campaign is to
target the right people and then deliver the right message at the right time,"
Mr Lapointe went on to say.
    In 2009, Tourisme Montréal also plans to move ahead with a program dubbed
The Domino Effect the object of which is to entice key individuals in various
sectors of economic endeavour to use their influence to have conventions
organized Montréal. Support for the program has proven decidedly enthusiastic
to date and Tourisme Montréal is intent upon pursuing efforts in this regard.
"Involving the community in spurring the recovery of the tourism industry is
essential to the mission of Tourisme Montréal. In a context marked by the
emergence of new destinations, some with colossal means, the support of all
community players has become an absolute necessity," concluded Mr Lapointe.
    The Tourisme Montréal campaigns for 2009 would not be possible without
the contribution of numerous partners which include the City of Montréal,
Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy (Québec), Ministry
of Culture, Communications and Status of Women (Québec), Ministry of Tourism
(Québec), Economic Development Canada, Canadian Tourism Commission (CCT),
Aéroports de Montréal, Air Canada, Greater Montréal Hotel Association, British
Airways, hoteliers, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Société des Casinos du
Québec and Via Rail Canada. Tourisme Montréal wishes to thank each of them for
the efforts devoted to making Montréal one of the most highly prized
destinations in North America.

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    Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the
    concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the
    destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also
    responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with
    the ever-changing conditions of the market.
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For further information:

For further information: Pierre Bellerose, Vice President, Public
Relations, Product Research and Development, Tourisme Montréal, (514)
844-2404, bellerose.pierre@tourisme-montreal.org; For more information (press
release, fact sheets and videos): http://press.tourisme-montreal.org

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TOURISM MONTREAL

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