Eight million visitors are expected to descend on the city of Montreal in 2022, down from the record 11 million in 2019.
Most visitors are expected to be Canadians from other provinces and Americans, the latter representing the largest number of international visitors and traditionally spending the most per capita.
Hotel bookings are also expected to hit 70-80% of full capacity, according to Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, president of the Greater Montreal Hotel Association.
Some visitors have already arrived and they are happy to travel again.
“Everybody has to go out and do things, see things and see people,” Barbara Kostick, an Alberta tourist traveling with her husband, told Global News.
For an American couple, visiting Montreal was an obvious choice.
“We were looking for a place to go. We have never been to Montreal, we have been to Quebec several times but never to Montreal. We decided to come and see and it’s a beautiful day so it was a good choice,” Peter Healey, a Rhode Island tourist visiting with his wife, told Global News.
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The tourism industry is a multi-billion dollar business that generates huge revenue for the city’s economy. The Formula 1 Grand Prix and the International Jazz Festival are huge crowd pullers and the events help improve business results.
Both are expected to return this year, attracting tens of thousands.
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The general manager of Montreal Centre-Ville is delighted that the events are back and that millions of tourists are choosing Montreal as their destination this summer.
“Tourism-Montreal has noticed an incredible increase in searches for flights to Montreal, and on their website for programming to find out what’s going on in the city,” Glenn Castanheria told Global News.
Although this year is unlikely to break any tourism records, all signs point to a solid year.
“We are cautiously optimistic and also very grateful,” Castanheria said.
Visitors are already returning by tourist buses and operators hope this will continue in the coming months.
“It’s still May, but I think next summer will be a lot busier,” Robert Costa, Montreal tour guide for Gray Line, told Global News.
Restaurant owners have also seen an increase in tourism this spring.
“I expect it to continue and it’s going to be like this all summer because we are ready,” Alain Creton, owner of Alexandre et Fils, told Global News.
A summer that many hope will live up to the expectations of the tourism industry.
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