Conventions, business meetings boost Montreal’s tourism industry

Tourism, a big part of the Montréal economy, turned in a great performance in 2014 according to figures compiled by Tourisme Montréal for the period of January to December 2014. Key performance indicators for the year are up, particularly starting in the second quarter.

Key statistics for 2014

  • Montréal is estimated to have welcomed 9.2 million tourists, up 2.2% over 2013.
  • Spending by tourists increased 4.6% in 2014 to stand at $2.7 billion.
  • The average hotel occupancy rate was 71.24%, up 3.32 percentage points from the previous year.
  • The average room rate was $148.40 compared to $141.48 the year before, a 5.17% increase.

Higher average occupancy and room rates are partly attributable to the drop in hotel room inventory on the Island of Montréal.

“It’s encouraging to see that tourism continued to grow in 2014 after a good year in 2013,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “A lot of the growth came from business meetings and major conventions, so we owe a vote of thanks to the hard-working convention professionals in Montréal. The sports event market also turned in a good performance, a result of efforts in that regard in recent years.”

“Montréal hotel owners saw occupancy rates rise in 2014. This good performance was in large part driven by the synergy between the hotels and Tourisme Montréal,” added Eve Paré, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal.

Business tourism drives performance during year

Business travel appears to have been a big part of Montréal’s performance in 2014. Tourisme Montréal notes that there were 27 multi-hotel conventions during the year versus 17 the year before, for a total of 55,830 convention-goers. That put shoppers in stores and drew visitors to city attractions. The sales efforts of Tourisme Montréal’s business sales team on the convention, business meeting, and sporting event markets generated a little over 333,000 overnight stays in commercial accommodations.

International travel up 4%

As for international visitors (United States and other countries) entering Canada through Québec border checkpoints,

  • totals were up 4.0% for January to December;
  • the number of American tourists using some form of transportation other than automobiles to cross the border was up 5.0%; and
  • the increase was 5.9% for tourists from countries other than the United States.

Passenger traffic at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport up 5.2%

Arriving and departing passenger traffic at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport4 between January and December 2014 increased 5.2% in all markets (domestic, transborder, and international).

Cruise ship market up 1.54%

The cruise ship market also performed well again, attracting some 71,000 passengers and crew members to the port last season, an increase of 1.54% over 2013. Montréal continues to position itself as a premier cruise turnaround destination on the St. Lawrence River.

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