Tourism in the region: no rush to the East this year

Tourism in the region: no rush east this year

BET À DAY

Forget the campers on Percé beach, the monster queues in front of seafood restaurants or the lack of hotel rooms, the favorite regions of recent years, such as the Gaspésie and the Côte-Nord, are less popular with tourists this summer.

In some places, such as campgrounds, the impact is felt, such as in Sainte-Madeleine-de-la- Rivière-Madeleine, not far from Mont-Louis, in Haute-Gaspésie. 

“We have easily seen a drop of 60 to 80% this year. We have 10 sites for rent and since the beginning of the summer, we have not been full once,” says Anna Kim Fournier, owner of Camping Chalets Mer et Montagne. 

Fortunately for her, the restaurant and bar are quite popular, which helps to limit losses. 

“Otherwise it wouldn't work. We even advertised discounts to attract customers,” she says. borders largely explain the current situation, but also the price of gasoline, boosted by the war in Ukraine. 

“Of course people who usually come with their big RV, they don't want to go as far as Gaspésie,” she says. 

Tourism in the region: no rush to the East this year

Photo courtesy Paul Lavoie, CEO of Tourisme Côte-Nord

In Percé, where the horde of tourists had created a commotion, it is in a way the return to a certain normality. 

“It's really quieter, there are a lot fewer people,” admits Aude Charbonneau, manager of the popular Pub Pit Caribou. 

“But at the same time, it feels like it's It's a throwback to the years before the pandemic. The clientele is older and what is good is that you really feel that people are happy to be here. We are not a plan B for a trip to Cancún,” she laughs.

At the Percé tourist office, in June, there were 3,900 requests for information compared to 4,900 last year, a decrease of 1,000 visitors.  

“It compares to the year 2019. I think we must also take into account that 2020 and 2021 were not traditional standard years. This summer, we find the same profile of tourists, but it is true that the beginning of July is slow, ”says Marie Leblanc, who is the director of the office. 

Many Fewer Quebecers

This year, 65% of tourists in Percé come from Quebec, 35% from outside. Last year, 98% were from Quebec. 

On the other side of the shore, on the North Shore, the situation is comparable, and the weather played a role. 

“We are up on 2019, but if we compare to 2021 which was an exceptional year, we have a drop of 30 to 50%. These are not official figures, but it is notable. We are an outdoor region, so the weather hasn't helped that's for sure, ”says Paul Lavoie, general manager of Tourisme Côte-Nord. 

At Hôtel Tadoussac, a benchmark in the region, the occupancy rate will approach 100% in the coming weeks. But the streets are much emptier. 

“I would even say that there are 15% fewer tourists than before the pandemic,” analyzes Maria Élisa Smith, sales coordinator. < /p>

Better in Bas-Saint-Laurent 

Another popular region, Bas-Saint-Laurent is off to a good start and hopes for even more for the two weeks of construction. 

“It's been a good season so far, it's sure last year will be tough to beat. But don't take the exception as the norm,” says Karine Lebel, communications and marketing director at Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent. >

A campground in Percé literally invaded by Quebec tourists during the summer of 2021.

GASPÉSIE

Last year, the region had shattered a record with a turnover of more than $300 million and more than 500,000 visitors. 

CÔTE-NORD

In total, 96,477 visitors had set foot on the Côte-Nord in 2021, 20,000 more than in 2019. 

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