Tourism spending injects $4 billion into the Montréal economy in 2017


According to the latest report from Tourisme Montréal, all of Montréal’s tourism performance indicators in both the business and leisure markets went up in 2017. The city’s tourist volumes grew 5.1% over 2016, for a total of 11.1 million visitors. In addition, tourist spending increased 9.7% to reach $4 billion for the year as a whole. Montréal recorded the highest growth in tourism among all Québec destinations.

International tourism continued its upswing with 11% more overseas tourists entering Québec in 2017. According to the Conference Board of Canada, the number of tourists from France—Montréal’s leading market—grew 9%, while the number of Chinese tourists soared 33% to make China the city’s second most important overseas market, ahead of the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, inbound traffic from Mexico grew 50%, confirming a very promising outlook for this market.

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Where visitors from the U.S. are concerned, the most pronounced increase was in airborne travellers, at 11.9%. In all, this market grew by 4.8% in 2017.

Montréal-Trudeau Airport saw 18.2 million passengers, a 9.5% improvement over 2016. The volume of international travellers arriving at the airport was up 13.5% in 2017.

According to the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, the average occupation rate for hotels on the Island was 76.5% at an average price of $184.31 in 2017. The average room rate was $214.10 during the summer (June to August), marking an 11.7% hike compared with the same period in 2016.

Business tourism was also strong last year. Montréal hosted several major events in 2017, including Destination International’s Annual Convention and the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Tourisme Montréal’s business travel team recorded more than 380,000 confirmed overnight stays in commercial accommodations, which was 15% more than in 2016.

Events held to mark Montréal’s 375th anniversary led to a 6% boost in attendance at the city’s tourist attractions over 2016. In addition, several legacies of the 375th anniversary celebrations, such as Cité Mémoire – Montréal en Histoire, the light displays on Jacques-Cartier Bridge and the addition of new attractions, like La Grande Roue de Montréal and the new pavilions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Pointe-à-Callière, have enhanced the city’s entertainment profile and revived its tourism pull.

“Not only was 2017 a historic year, it also propelled Montréal onto the world stage,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “The city is now more vibrant and dynamic than ever! What’s more, tourism was one of the main drivers of the city’s economy last year. Several factors contributed to the growth in tourism, including new direct air connections, promotional efforts in the conventions market and a considerable push to market Montréal as a destination.”

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.