MONTREAL — According to the most recent data compiled by Tourisme Montreal, economic indicators for the city’s tourism industry continued to climb during the 2018 summer season.
Montreal-Trudeau Airport reported high foreign passenger traffic in June and July, with an 8.8-per-cent increase in passengers from the U.S. and a 10.7-per-cent increase in overseas passengers. Year to date, total volumes have increased, with the city welcoming more than 11-million passengers — marking a 6.9-per-cent year-over-year gain.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of overseas visitors has improved 7.2 per cent over 2017. All of Montreal’s top markets performed well, with French-speaking Europe growing 10.8 per cent in May and June and Germany gaining 17.4 per cent. Following the addition of several direct-air connections to Asia, Tourisme Montreal noted substantial growth from this market, with 20.8-per-cent more Chinese visitors and 139.2-per-cent more Japanese visitors in May and June.
“Montreal is seeing increasingly higher numbers of tourists from emerging markets,” says Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montreal. “Our plan is to step up our efforts to attract visitors from new Asian markets while maintaining current offensives and exploring other segments. The future of tourism is very promising in Montréal and across Québec, with international growth outpacing expectations.”
Montreal’s major festivals and events were also more successful in 2018 than last year. Osheaga reported an 18-per-cent hike in ticket sales outside Quebec, including an eight-per-cent improvement in Ontario. The Festival international de Jazz de Montréal posted a 12-per-cent increase in same-day tourists and FrancoFolies recorded a 34-per-cent rise in tourist attendance, including a 14-per-cent increase in same-day tourists from outside Quebec. Finally, the Formula One Grand Prix du Canada sold 19-per-cent more tickets this year.
According to the latest statistics from the Greater Montreal Hotel Association, the average occupancy rate for the June-to-August period on the Island of Montreal fell from 88.58 per cent in 2017 to 85.33 per cent in 2018. Over the same period, the average room rate was $212.25, marking a 0.87-per-cent year-on-year decline. This is attributable to an increase in the total number of hotel rooms available in the downtown area.