The Legault government offers packages to Quebecers to support tourism in all regions … and to help public health.
A 25% discount will be offered on more than thirty packages of two nights minimum to visit the regions of Quebec, among the components of its massive financial support of $ 750 million for the tourism industry announced Thursday.
However, the package has another advantage, as explained by the Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx: it allows better tracking of cases, in the event of a new outbreak of COVID-19, during the great migration of the holidays desired this summer.
“We will know that people will move from point A, go to such and such a region and do such activity,” she said in a press conference in parliament. There is traceability in the package. “
“There will probably be cases (due to tourist trips), but it shouldn’t be a significant mass if people follow the instructions,” said national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, next to him. .
Interested vacationers will purchase their package through the Receptive Agency (ARF) which will offer between “20 and 35” packages.
An Attractions Passport is also created. Visitors will be entitled to a 20% discount on the cost of purchasing a passport for two attractions, 30% for three attractions and 40% for four attractions.
In addition, SEPAQ offers its annual subscription, which gives access to all its parks, at half price, with, as an additional, a free night in one of its campsites.
With these three measures totaling $ 20 million, the Legault government hopes to support the Quebec tourism industry, which has been particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing confinement.
Proulx acknowledged, however, that this will not be enough to make up the economic contribution of all tourists from abroad.
It is for this reason that the government also announced a global envelope of $ 750 million on Thursday. An amount of $ 446 million will be earmarked for the creation of an emergency component for accommodation establishments and tourist attractions, as part of the Temporary Concerted Action Program for Businesses (PACTE).
According to the government, this component will allow businesses “to obtain loans and loan guarantees on advantageous conditions”. Thus, they will be able to count on a 24-month moratorium before paying off the capital rather than 12 months at present. A forgiveness equivalent to 25% of the amounts reimbursed during the first 48 months will be offered, with a maximum of $ 100,000 per establishment or tourist attraction. Companies will have to demonstrate a return to profitability in the medium term rather than in a year.
A sum of $ 200 million will be spent in 2020-2021 for “support for investment in hotel business tourism”. This new component of the Support Program for the Development of Tourist Attractions aims to “financially support renovation or upgrading of hotel establishments”.
The assistance will also “make it possible to obtain loans, on advantageous terms, which can cover up to 80% of eligible project expenses, the minimum cost of which would amount to $ 125,000”.
Hotels and lodges will also be able to receive a grant equivalent to the amount of tourist accommodation tax paid for the first quarter of 2020. The government hopes that these businesses will be able to conserve cash. The amount of this assistance is estimated at $ 13.8 million.