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Coronavirus: Quebec government to inject $750 million into embattled tourism industry

Quebec announces more than $700 million in funding for flailing tourism industry
WATCH: Quebec announces more than $700 million in funding for flailing tourism industry

The Quebec government will invest $750 million into the provincial tourism industry to help boost the sector, which remains one of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.

At a press conference on Thursday, ministers Pierre Fizgibbon (economy and innovation), Eric Girard (finance) and Caroline Proulx (tourism) announced that $446 million of the $750 million will be for the creation of PACTE, a loan program for tourism businesses.

Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec announces $750 million funds for the tourism sector
Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec announces $750 million funds for the tourism sector

According to officials, loans borrowed by the tourism sector will not have to be repaid for 24 months and 25 per cent of the amount borrowed will be forgiven (with a maximum up to $100,000).

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The Quebec government also took the opportunity on Thursday to encourage Quebecers to travel locally this summer and support the local economy.

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Three other measures were announced to boost the sector, which will cost the government $20 million of the $750 million.

Under the first, Quebecers will be eligible to 25 per cent off on the sale of price packages on travel around Quebec offered by eligible travel agencies.

Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec to reopen zoos, parks and tourism attractions
Coronavirus outbreak: Quebec to reopen zoos, parks and tourism attractions

The government also announced that a 50 per cent discount will be offered on the purchase of the annual National Parks of Quebec access pass, which gives pass owners unlimited access to all 24 national parks in the province for 12 months.

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The third initiative created is the Attraction Passport, which will give purchasers 20 per cent off the purchase of a visit to two attraction sites, 30 per cent for three attraction sites and 40 per cent for four.

Zoos, botanical gardens and agritourism farms are also set to reopen as of June 19. Maritime excursion businesses in Quebec can resume activities as of July 1.

–With files from The Canadian Press