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Martin Jolicoeur August 16, 2012
Against all expectations, the student protests of the spring have not affected Montreal and Quebec City tourism.
The most recent data from the Quebec Ministry of Tourism shows a significant increase in tourist traffic in the rate of hotel occupancy in both cities.
In June, the third month of student protests, hoteliers experienced a growth of 11.6% in the number of rooms occupied, and an increase of 10.7% (or 7.7 percentage points) of their occupation rate compared to the same period in 2011. In June 2012, the occupation rate of Montreal hotels reached 79.5%.
In Quebec City, the number of rooms occupied increased by 2.2% compared to June in 2011, and the rate of hotel occupancy reached 66%, an increase of 2.2% or 3.4% in comparison to the same period last year.
This data will supports the tourist traffic report produced in recent weeks by major festivals in both cities. Monday (August 13), the Montreal International Jazz Festival reported a 4% increase in international tourists.
The Quebec Tourism Industry Association (AQIT), who had pushed for a rapid return to a state of calm in mid-may, is pleasantly surprised by these results.
Another story for Hoteliers
The Hotel Association of Greater Montreal (AHGM) doubts the methodology of the Ministry of Tourism. The General Director of the association, William Brown, argues that rather the rate of hotel occupancy dropped by 8% in May and that their revenue decreased by 10%.
If the month of June has recovered to reach a growth of 1% in traffic, the July data of the AHGM shows a decrease of 12.5% in the rate of Montreal hotel occupancy and 15% of their total revenue.
In addition to the student protests, the weather, the increase of the Loonie relative to the American dollar and the Euro, and the presidential elections in the United States would be responsible for this situation, according to Brown.
During the first twelve weeks of 2012, the association that includes 76 of the largest hotels in the Greater Montreal Area, for a total of 17, 450 rooms, spoke of an average decrease of revenue and occupancy rate of 3%.
In 2011, these same hotels had ended the year with an average occupancy rate of 67.24%. That year the average rate of a room was $137.48 in Montreal.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
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