To comply with the guidelines, tourist enterprises, including the water parks, will significantly reduce their capacity.
June 3, 2020
Updated June 4, 2020 at 14h06
Déconfinement: the tourist industry is launching an ultimatum to Quebec
The Voice of the East
While the summer season is about to begin, several actors of the tourism industry are still unaware if they will be able to welcome visitors. On Wednesday, they issued an ultimatum to Quebec to get a timetable for reopening as well as financial support to help them through the crisis caused by the pandemic of the sars coronavirus.
“What we want is a date. We want to know when we can reopen. This is the most important for us because the opening date will prevail,” says Charles Désourdy, the owner and president of Bromont, the mountain of experiences.
He gave up at the beginning of the month to decide on the upcoming opening of the water park, scheduled for 3 July.
“But if we don’t have news in the next few days, it’s going to be difficult to be ready on time, submits Mr. Désourdy. The more one delays, the less it is worth to open it, economically speaking. And if we do not open the park, what are hundreds of jobs in the region, are economic spin-offs in the least.”
“This year, we had to borrow more than usual. Since the closure of public places, we had losses only on the weekends. But since the party of Patriots, these are all days that are a loss, because it could not reopen as expected. We have cancelled our day camps, our school tours, our corporate events and weddings which were to take place at the Zoo, which represents significant revenues in the least, ” says Paul Gosselin, director general of the Granby Zoo. But our fixed costs remain high. We must feed and provide veterinary care to our animals every day. We can not stop or do less because it is closed to visitors.”
“”Without assistance of any kind from the government of Quebec, it is realistic to think that about 25% of regional jobs in the tourism sector could disappear over the next few weeks. This represents more than 5 000 job losses for our region.” ”
Jean-Michel Ryan, the president of Tourisme Cantons-de-l’est
The uncertainty surrounding the possible dates of re-opening was none too reassuring for the Collection of water parks in Québec (RPAQ), Tourisme Cantons-de-l’est (TEC) Events and Attractions in Quebec (AEQ). In addition to the fixed costs for the upkeep and maintenance of their facilities, insurance, taxes and other, which continue to accumulate in the absence of income, its members will have to deal with other expenses to ensure the safety of visitors, they do not know the return date.
In this context, organizing is not done overnight. Time will be needed and the tourist businesses want to be ready sooner than later in order to cut the least possible their season and avoid significant financial loss.
“In the Cantons-de-l’est, the tourism it is more than 2 000 companies, 20 000 jobs, more than 9 million visitors per year and more than$ 900 Million in tourism spending annually. Tourism is the 4th largest economic sector of importance in the region. Our industry has been one of the first to feel the effects of the crisis and it will be the last to recover. With the current situation, it is a pan full of our regional economy which is threatened. Without assistance of any kind from the government of Quebec, it is realistic to think that about 25% of regional jobs in the tourism sector could disappear over the next few weeks. This represents more than 5 000 job losses for our region “, says the president of TCE, Jean-Michel Ryan, who is also co-owner of Mont Sutton.
Events, Attractions, Québec pointed out that in 2018, its approximately 160 members employed over 21 000 people in the high season and have generated a group turnover of about 375 million dollars.