The Alliance and the tourist associations in Quebec, of which Tourisme Outaouais is a part, unveiled the results of an omnibus web survey, conducted by the firm Léger, aimed at assessing public opinion with regard to tourism. The survey reveals a significant improvement in the population’s positive perception of the tourism industry while highlighting a significant lack of awareness of the major economic impact of tourism in Quebec and Canada. This study was carried out from November 6 to 8, 2020 on a sample that is said to be representative of Quebec, made up of 1,000 Quebecers aged 18 and over who can speak French or English.
Tourisme Outaouais believes that tourism was one of the first industries to be affected in the spring of 2020 and will be one of the last to be able to return to full capacity. According to the results of the survey, Quebecers are aware of these major impacts. The study reveals, among other things, that more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents believe that the tourism industry has been more negatively affected than other sectors of the Quebec economy since the start of the pandemic. Remarkably, almost all Quebecers surveyed believe that the contribution of the tourism industry is important to the economic vitality of Quebec and its regions. Indeed, a total of 97% of those mentioned that it was very important or somewhat important.
Last year, 71.5% of respondents indicated having a positive perception of Quebec’s tourism industry. This year, the Léger study indicates that nearly four in five Quebecers have a positive perception of the tourism industry, or 79%, including 28% who have a very positive opinion. In the current context, the tourism industry is proud of this notable 7.5% increase.
We also note that a large proportion of Quebecers underestimate the economic impact of tourism. When asked about the $ 16 billion in annual revenues generated by the Quebec tourism industry, 55% of respondents believed them to be lower. In the case of the $ 13 billion the country’s tourism industry brings in taxes to the Government of Canada, more than one in two thought it was lower. “The reaction of Quebecers is like what Tourisme Outaouais perceives in its discussions: people are astonished at the economic impact of our industry. Nearly 4 million visitors, more than $ 423 million in tourism spending and 16,400 jobs associated with our sector: this is tourism in the Outaouais! It is also for this reason that we must support our industry in a context of recovery, and in the short term, a context of survival. As the gateway to Quebec, the Outaouais has the capacity to attract Ontarians to the territory. As soon as possible, we will recommence our promotional efforts to ring the bell among tourism entrepreneurs across the territory. In the meantime, I am delighted to see that here, as elsewhere, our citizens see tourist infrastructures as pleasant to them as they are to tourists "according to the President and CEO of Tourisme Outaouais France Bélisle.
However, according to this study, Quebecers recognize that in addition to contributing to the attraction of tourists from markets outside Quebec, tourism infrastructure and activities are also beneficial to them. In fact, more than half of Quebecers (56%) believe that tourist infrastructures and activities in the regions of Quebec benefit both tourists from outside Quebec and local populations, which turns out to be a statistic. revealing the value of investing in tourism for the development of the socioeconomic vitality of Quebec and its regions.
Tourism before the pandemic
$ 16 billion in tourism revenue (2.5% of Quebec GDP);
$ 2 billion in tax revenue for the government of Quebec;
5th largest sector in the Quebec Export Strategy: $ 3.5 billion in export revenues (via spending by tourists from outside Quebec on Quebec territory);
More than 30,000 businesses linked to tourism activity in Quebec;
1 in 10 jobs in Quebec: approximately 402,000 jobs directly or indirectly linked to the Quebec tourism industry.