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Tourism officials expecting a summer boom in Montreal

Click to play video: 'Montreal’s tourism industry gears up for busy summer season' Montreal’s tourism industry gears up for busy summer season
As warm weather sets in, Montreal's tourism industry is gearing up for what it hopes will be a banner year. Tour guides, hotel operators and restaurant owners are hoping to cash in an opportunity not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Global's Tim Sargeant explains – May 23, 2022

Eight million visitors are expected to descend on the city of Montreal in 2022, shy of the record-setting 11 million in 2019.

Most of the visitors are expected to be Canadians from other provinces and Americans, the latter representing the largest of all international visitors and who traditionally spend the most per capita.

Hotel bookings are also anticipated to reach the 70 to 80 per cent of full capacity, according to Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, President of the Greater Hotel Association of Greater Montreal.

Some visitors have already arrived and they’re glad to be traveling again.

“Everybody needs to get back out and get doing things, get visiting things and seeing people,” Barbara Kostick, a tourist from Alberta travelling with her husband, told Global News.

For one American couple, visiting Montreal was an obvious choice.

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“We were looking for a place to go. We’ve never been to Montreal, we’ve been to Quebec many, many times but never to Montreal. We decided to come and check it out and it’s a beautiful day so it was a good choice,” Peter Healey, a tourist from Rhode Island visiting with his wife told Global News.

The tourism industry is a multi-billion dollar business that generates huge revenues for the city’s economy. The Formula 1 Grand-Prix and the International Jazz Festival are enormous attractions for crowds and the events help boost the bottom lines for business.

Both are scheduled to be back this year attracting tens of thousands of people.

READ MORE: ‘A welcome sign,’ tourism industry anticipates boost from return of seasonal travellers

The Executive Director of Montréal Centre-Ville is thrilled the events are back and millions of tourists are picking Montreal as a destination this summer.

“Tourisme-Montréal has noticed an incredible increase in searches for flights to Montreal, and on their website to know the programming to know what’s happening in the city,” Glenn Castanheria, told Global News.

While this year won’t likely break any tourism records — all signs are pointing to a strong year.

“We’re cautiously optimistic and also very grateful,” Castanheria said.

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Visitors are already making their way back on tour buses and operators hope it will continue in the months ahead.

“We are still in May but I do think this coming summer is going to be much more busy,” Robert Costa, Montreal Tour Guide for Gray Line, told Global News.

Restaurant owners have also seen an uptick in tourism this spring.

“I expect that it’s going to continue and it’s going to be like that all summer because we are ready,” Alain Creton, Owner of Alexandre et Fils, told Global News.

A summer that many hope will live up to the tourist industry’s expectations.

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