Tourism

The Trudeau government will provide $40 million for the development of tourism in Quebec

The Trudeau government is providing $40 million for 60 tourism projects in 50 Quebec cities.

“We are aiming for projects that will really boost the tourism sector in each of the communities in the long term and really act as an engine to boost the local economy,” said Pascal Saint-Onge, the minister in charge of the Economic Development Agency. Canada for the regions of Quebec, at a press conference on Friday.

The announcement was made in Montreal, where the minister announced $500,000 to fund the L’INFINI experience, a virtual reality activity based on images taken outside the International Space Station. The presentation will return to Montreal in January 2023 with a long-term installation.

The full list of target projects is not yet fully known and will be made public in future announcements in the respective regions.

The $40 million announced Friday is part of the $500 million Tourism Relief Fund announced in July 2021. Of this amount, $118.8 million was earmarked for Quebec. St. Onge said there were still unused funds in the envelope that needed to be used.

The announcement comes as many in the tourism sector are concerned that disruptions at Canadian airports will hurt Canada’s attractiveness to foreign tourists.

The day before, Air Transat President and CEO Annick Guérard said the sanitary measures at airports are inconsistent with the strength of the expected recovery in air traffic this summer. Catch-up demand will be high in a very short time. “Everyone has to adjust,” she said.

The situation is particularly challenging at Toronto Pearson Airport, where long lines disrupt passenger flow and lead to flight cancellations. About 500,000 international passengers experienced delays at Toronto Airport in May.

Transport Minister Omar Algabra vowed on Wednesday to do more to reduce airport waiting times, without specifying exactly what would be done. He recalled that the Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority (CATSA) employs 865 people across the country. “This is a big achievement in a few weeks,” he said.

Saint-Onge did not elaborate on the Trudeau government’s intentions regarding the industry’s demand for a waiver of traveler health measures. In April, the government already announced a number of easing, including lifting the requirement to submit a quarantine plan.

“Government’s concern has always been about protecting the health of Canadians first and foremost,” she said. “We are constantly evaluating the situation and adjusting measures as we go.”

— This report by The Canadian Press was first published in English on June 10, 2022.

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