Advertisement

Quebec premier promises aid for hotels feeling impact of pandemic on tourism

Tourists walk along the street as Old Montreal is nearly deserted, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Montreal. Quebec premier promises aid for hotels feeling impact of pandemic on tourism.
Tourists walk along the street as Old Montreal is nearly deserted, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Montreal. Quebec premier promises aid for hotels feeling impact of pandemic on tourism. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

François Legault says he will unveil a plan next week to provide financial assistance to the province’s struggling tourism industry.

While he did not go into specifics, the premier said Friday that the bulk of the assistance would go to small and medium-sized hotels and inns, which have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support will come in the form of both loans and subsidies, he said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Quebec tourism industry asks for reopening schedule from province

“It’s very important for us to help them, to help them financially, to get through this crisis because it’s an industry where there are many jobs,” Legault told reporters in Orford, Que., in the province’s Eastern Townships region.

He added that while foreign tourist numbers are down, he believes many Quebecers will spend their summer vacations in the Eastern Townships this year — which would provide a welcome boost to the area.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’ll try to do that myself actually at the end of July,” Legault said.

READ MORE: Montreal’s tourism to take a massive hit in revenues due to COVID-19 pandemic

His statement came as health officials reported 50 new deaths from COVID-19, including 33 in the last 24 hours. The other 17 deaths occurred before May 29 but were not immediately recorded.

That brings the death toll in the province to 4,935.

There were also 255 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday for a total of 52,398 since the pandemic began. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased by 46 to 1,030. Of those, 131 people are in intensive care, down from 146 yesterday.