Déconfinement: the tourist industry is launching an ultimatum to Quebec

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

To comply with the guidelines, tourist enterprises, including the water parks, will significantly reduce their capacity.

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June 3, 2020

Updated June 4, 2020 at 14h06

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Déconfinement: the tourist industry is launching an ultimatum to Quebec

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

Marie-Eve Martel

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.

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

The president of Bromont, the mountain of experiences gave himself 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 in time, argues Charles 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.”

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Good to the public, correct in private

The announcement, late last week, the reopening of the public swimming pools will leave you breathless the operators of water parks in private, that does not explain why they were excluded, the ones who say they benefit from infrastructure, “allowing them a operating framework that is more secure than the public places, in particular by the presence of supervisors and certified lifeguards”.

“This misunderstanding is all the more shocking because there is nothing to indicate that the risk of contagion of the COVID-19 being variable as a function of a private or public bathing place”, argues the RPAQ in a press release.

“What is good for public swimming pools is good for private pools, believes Mr. Gosselin, adding that some individuals obtain a pass from the Amazoo to come and swim rather than go to the municipal swimming pools. It is hoped that the reopening of the pools in public means that you will be able to re-open ours.”

Events, Attractions Quebec city is reminding us that museums and city parks have been given the permission to open, so that its members provide similar services. “Zoos, aquariums and gardens are equivalent to museums, showcasing the living collections and can apply sanitary measures similar to museums, and allow for the discovery of the animals and plants in a manner safe for visitors, argues the organisation. Theme parks and recreation centers that offer modules of games, water games, can also provide a framework of safe operations.”

For recovery, the tourism industry is separated into eight sectors, ” says Mr. Gosselin. “Our establishment is part of three of these sectors, are zoos and aquariums, water parks and amusement parks.

As each sector will be déconfiné according to its own criteria, it is possible that we may not be able to open all of our services at the same time. We will have to deal with it, especially because normally, our tickets are valid for the whole site.”

Déconfinement: l’industrie touristique lance un ultimatum à Québec

The Granby Zoo will not sell the yearly subscription this summer and a limited number of daily tickets will go on sale on its website. “It will be necessary to reserve your spot by purchasing your tickets in advance,” says Paul Gosselin. We will accept people who will be present only if the site capacity is not reached.”

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Capacity reduced

Both the EAQ that the RPAQ remind that plans of action, including strict sanitary measures to allow the resumption of the activities of their members are in the process of being developed and that the firms collaborate with public health in the hope of getting the green light as quickly as possible.

To comply with the instructions, tourism businesses will substantially reduce their capacity.

“For us, it is expected to accommodate 2500 people per day instead of 5000 or 6000 in normal times,” said Mr. Désourdy. We will not sell the pass of the season for this summer, the ticket office will allow the sale of 2500 entries per day, every day.”

The decrease of the offer will not, however, increase tariffs, said the president of Bromont, the mountain of experience, who is looking forward, however, the result unhoped-for pre-sale pass the next winter season, only in delay of 15% on last year.

“The idea is to minimize losses,” he said. The profitability, a person don’t think about it at this time. Everyone is aware that each must do its part. If one can operate at 2500 persons per day, taking into account the bad days, I would be happy.”

The idea of improving the offer of services to the mountain with the project Elevation could save the furniture. “With the health measures, we will not be able to open 100% of the infrastructure of the water park. But we ordered a trampoline, a climbing wall, and other modules in anticipation of our opening on July 3, with our gondola and our walking trails and bike will improve our offer of nature and adventure.”

Like its neighbour, bromont, Granby Zoo will not sell the yearly subscription this summer and a limited number of daily tickets will go on sale on its website. “It will be necessary to reserve your spot by purchasing your tickets in advance,” says Paul Gosselin. We will accept people who will be present only if the site capacity is not reached.”

This ability will now be 5,000 to 6,000 visitors, away from the traffic record of 12 000 to 15 000 people that saves the zoological garden during its best days of summer.

Measures to ensure a separation physical is reasonable will be put in place, including the need to avoid crowding in front of some of the habitats at the Zoo. The movement in the different continents will be in a single direction. The formula of the animations, appointments popular with visitors, will also be reviewed.

“We look to make the animation continuously, with our guardians and our biologists, who will be talking over a longer period of time and who are going to take turns, to avoid that people are coming together all at the same time in the same place, shows Mr. Gosselin.

Shortly, the Granby Zoo will open an online shop where will be sold the many products derived from the institution and plush animals. There will also be masks that are washable like snouts and beaks, that visitors will be able to also purchase on the spot if they do not have their own mask for their passage to the Zoo.

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