Tourism Montreal expecting another banner year for tourism despite some hurdles

Tourism Montreal says they expect another banner year in 2018 - despite such hurdles such as constant roadwork and luring young tourists.

General Manager Yves Lalumière said they forecast about a 2% increase in the number of tourists compared to last year and about 5% to 6% more in spending over 2017.

Montreal attracted 11.1-million tourists last year and posted $4B in tourist spending.

It may not be an anniversary year and there's continued roadwork and work at Parc Jean Drapeau but #Montreal will continue to see increase in tourists and spending this year, says @Monmontreal GM Yves Lalumière. #CJAD pic.twitter.com/cxlUbStXA6

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) April 30, 2018

Lalumière said the low flying loonie may result in more cross-border visitors from the U.S. as well as visitors from Europe, Mexico and Asia and even other Canadians looking for a cheaper vacation close to home.

It can be a challenge attracting millenials who seek more exotic locales and cheaper flights and lodgings than the ones in Canada.

But Lalumière said Montreal offers value for money, citing the city's multitude of festivals and accompanying free events.

"What they like about Montreal is the things they don't pay for because we have so many events, and you don't see this in Toronto and you don't see this in Vancouver so much or you don't see this at all in the U.S.," said Lalumière.

It can be a challenge luring millenials who seek exotic locales and cheaper flights and lodgings but @Monmontreal GM Yves Lalumière says he's confident they can because #Montreal offers value for money. #CJAD pic.twitter.com/vZFhM7KGRf

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) April 30, 2018

While roadwork continues -  notably on Ste Catherine St. downtown - and work begins in Parc Jean Drapeau, Lalumière said he doesn't believe it's a deal breaker.

"It's not an irritant, it doesn't stop people from coming. And when they are in their destination, they walk and they take the subway," Lalumière told CJAD 800 News.

Jack Kowalski, owner of the Lachine Rapid Tours-Saute-Moutons which celebrates its 35th year of business in the Old Port, agrees.

"It's not getting any easier, certainly, the way to access Old Montreal. Thank god they cancelled that race, that E-race, which killed two weekends," said Kowalki.

"But you know, we have to be optimistic."

JACK KOWALSKI

Shuyee Lee/CJAD 800 NEWS