'Something every night': Montreal anticipates tourism boom for 375th birthday
Published Monday, August 7, 2017 10:19PM EDT
Montreal is expecting to welcome more visitors this year than any other since Expo 67 as celebrations ramp up for the city’s 375th birthday.
Quebec’s largest urban centre is calling for over 11 million people to drop by to experience the unique fusion of North American and European hospitality.
Montreal brought in 10.2 million visitors in 2016, a 3.5 per cent uptick from a year earlier, according to an annual report from Tourisme Montreal. Those out-of-towners shelled out $3.3 billion, a 5.8 per cent increase year-over-year.
While the hard data is not in for 2017, business are already anticipating strong attendance and spending.
Some tourist-targeting shops are already boasting that sales have jumped by as much as 20 per cent this year thanks to one-time attractions like the recent Formula E race, as well as long-time entertainment staples like the iconic Just For Laughs comedy festival.
Just For Laughs’ chief operating officer Bruce Hills said he welcomes the extra attention. He is elated to see a slate of top-notch entertainment extend beyond his festival’s 20-day stint in July.
The Society for the Celebrations of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary boasts 243 events on its website ranging from theatre, to art and architectural tours.
“With all the additional activities that the 375th (society) organized, there was something every night for a tourist,” Hills told CTV News.
With a report from CTV’s Quebec Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin in Montreal