January 21, 2016 8:49 pm

Study will examine role Quebec could play in future of Alberta tourism

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EDMONTON – Hey Quebec, the province of Alberta is interested in you.

Alberta Culture and Tourism has released a request for proposals that’s being described as a Quebec market potential study.

The request outlines how the province wants to look at the potential of leisure travel from residents of Quebec. Currently, most visitors to the province are from British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

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“With the lower Canadian dollar and improved air access from Quebec to Alberta, we want to look at opportunities for increased domestic travel,” said Jeremy Nolais, press secretary for Tourism Minister David Eggen.

Nolais said the Francophone population in Alberta has grown more than 18 per cent since 2006.

Less than 0.5 per cent of all domestic travel from Canada to Alberta in 2013 was Quebec visitors.

“Supplementary research into Quebec is needed to provide a clear picture of the potential of this market for Alberta,” the request reads.

The last study done of travel by Quebec residents to Alberta was in 2007. It found while the awareness of Alberta and its tourism were low in Montreal and Quebec City, residents there had relatively positive perceptions of Alberta.

“Quebec could potentially be of major importance to the future of tourism in Alberta,” states the report.

The study will be composed of three focus groups in both Montreal and Quebec and one focus group each in Edmonton and Calgary; the latter of which will be made up of Quebecers who currently reside in the two cities.

The request said there is a need to understand how residents perceive Alberta and its “image.”

Participants will be asked about their travel patterns and behaviours, what factors influence their destination selection, reasons why they would visit Alberta, barriers to visiting Alberta and what needs they may expect, for example, dual languages on signs.

The tourism department does not have a continuous marketing presence in Quebec and Nolais said targeted advertising in the Quebec market “is limited.”

The project is scheduled to run from February 29 to November 30 and requires the winning bidder to provide monthly status report to the province.

The province has allocated a budget of $130,000.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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