Tourism: A key sector in planning Abitibi-Témiscamingue’s economic recovery

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Amos, Quebec, January 18, 2021 – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Around the world, tourism was one of the first industries affected by the pandemic; it will also be one of the last to be able to return to full working order. A pillar of the Canadian economy that generates $102 billion a year and represents 4% of all jobs (or the equivalent of 1.8 million workers), tourism is a major vector to diversify and develop the economy.

Entrepreneurs in this sector- composed mostly of SMEs-have demonstrated resiliency, creativity and adaptability since the crisis began. To support them, the Government of Canada, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), is signalling its presence with investments totalling $1,689,770 to boost tourism in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

Investing in tourism attractions in Abitibi-Témiscamingue region

Once conditions are favourable, the country’s economic recovery can only happen with the support of the tourism sector. To be ready to welcome tourists, we must continue to invest in regional attractions and establishments. With this in mind, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced Government of Canada financial support for the Refuge Pageau (Centre des marais et ses habitants inc.), the Festival des guitares du monde en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Festivals illimités) and the Ville d’Amos. Details on the assistance provided by CED through the Quebec Economic Development Program are as follows:

  • Ville d’Amos, $1,200,000. The project aims to create the Anisipi park, a new tourism attraction in the RCM of Abitibi that includes a thematic trail on the region’s water resource. CED’s contribution will focus on the cost of scenographic equipment and installations, as well as design, sound production and content fees for the “Le Puits” thematic station in the Ville d’Amos.
  • Refuge Pageau (Centre des marais et ses habitants inc.), $400,000. The project aims to refurbish and modernize the animal infrastructure and welcome and service facilities. CED’s contribution will focus on constructing new buildings, expanding, improving and refurbishing activity areas, as well as developing an immersive experience and establishing a web platform.
  • Festival des guitares du monde en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Festivals illimités), $89,770. The project involves organizing the 2021 and 2022 editions of the event and enhancing the experience offered. CED’s contribution will focus on establishing new experiences for festival goers, completing a study on the origin of visitors and marketing the event outside Quebec. It will also cover marketing fees for the 2020 edition, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping tourism organizations make it through the crisis

Since the start of the crisis, the Government of Canada has been supporting organizations in the tourism industry, including through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), deployed in Quebec by CED and its collaborators. As a reminder, the RRRF has made it possible to provide funding and technical support to businesses and organizations to help them maintain their activities. In this way, with the help of Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADCs), Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAEs) and PME MTL, 1167 organizations in Quebec’s tourism sector have received contributions through the RRRF totalling over $44 million. Thanks to this measure, some 9400 jobs have been maintained.

The tourism industry, which plays a crucial role in the economic, social and cultural life of communities, represents an essential link in regional economic development. Through this support, the Government of Canada is attesting to its commitment to prepare the field for after the pandemic with a view to rebuilding a stronger, more resilient and more just economy for all.

Quotes

“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the Government of Canada is committed to accompanying key players as they prepare to rebound vigorously after the economic crisis. We have been here since the start of this unprecedented situation, with concrete measures, and we will be here to support tourism as the health situation evolves. We must plan the economic recovery, which can only happen with the contribution of players in the tourism community, so that we can get off to a new start together and be stronger and more resilient.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“We are going through a difficult period. However, we see the light at the end of the tunnel with today’s announcement and the hope it brings. Let us salute the innovation of our promoters! We thank Minister Joly for supporting the development and recognizing the quality of our tourism destination. Our industry’s recovery is promising with these three beautiful projects!”

Émilien Larochelle, President, Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Quick facts

  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 business offices, CED is present to accompany Quebec businesses, supporting organizations and regions into tomorrow’s economy.
  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, is the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.
  • Recognizing the importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) in supporting local tourism businesses, the Government of Canada proposed as part of the Fall Economic Statement (November 2020) an additional $500 million for RDAs.
  • Total funding for the RRRF sits at over $2 billion, and at least 25% of this amount will be granted to boost local tourism businesses, representing over $500 million in support to kickstart tourism by June 2021.

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