Tourism in Brome-Missisquoi is healthy: the 300% increase in activity on the website is a proof. In winter 2016, however, has flayed the industry. The tourist season begins with new challenges, some adaptations and a wide turn.
“We are positioned for a number of years as the wine region, green, en santé du Québec. Now we would like to take the turn of onéotourisme “announced the director of the CLD economic development service of Brome-Missisquoi, Denis Beauchamp, before some 150 industry stakeholders gathered at Huttopia Sutton on Tuesday to launch the tourist season.
“This is ownership by the middle of wine products,” he summarizes.
“What we would like is that there is better coordination between restaurateurs and producers, between citizens and the producers,” says Beauchamp. In the era of the experience, the wine tasting is no longer sufficient. It must lather the wine experience, for example with a producer who tells his story. The CLD wishes and all partners in the tourism industry “own the Wine Route” as stated in its tourism development advisor, Jacques Remi. Besides, a 22 vineyard will join the popular network this summer Creek Vineyard in Dunham.
Denis Beauchamp also recalled the recent large investments that contributed to the turmoil in the region: the arrival of Huttopia, recently acquired by new investors the ski resort of Mount Sutton, investments in Bromont, mountain of experiences and upgrading of accommodation park.
To review the implementation of Brome-Missisquoi as destination market, the LDC share in seduction mission to Vermont. “The US market is rather marginal for us,” says Denis Beauchamp, adding that only 3% of tourism. “If we increase it or if we double, we already have achieved something good,” he adds. The favorable exchange rate for the Americans, among others, convinced the CLD to take leadership in an advertising offensive, which would normally have been conducted by Tourism Eastern Townships.
The campaign will run from mid-June to mid-August. It includes a microsite, print media and a web strategy and social media. Brome-Missisquoi will be presented to the Americans as the “wine country” (wine region) and its tourist attractions such as flavors (aromas) to discover. Hence the slogan of the Aromas Wine Region.
A third of the country, worth $ 36,000, is funded by partner companies.
Remnants of winter
“We have no control over climate change, but we should perhaps start thinking about how we will adapt,” commented Denis Beauchamp about the hard winter experienced by the tourism industry. The latter recognizes that shortened winters frequently recur in the future, jeopardizing the ski season, important economic lever in the region. “By cons there will be benefits for all that is called agriculture, particularly viticulture,” he recalls. “Maybe in 15 or 20 years we will be able to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, better known varietals that what we have here now.”
Winter has not spared Business tourism. Hold meetings in Montreal involves costs significantly lower than to hold a rally in region, says Denis Beauchamp. In this regard, the City of Laval serve as a model to attract business meetings in Brome-Missisquoi.
The launch of the tourist season was right to send a message to hoteliers in the region. Denis Beauchamp is clear on this point: he must judge the harmonization of tax on lodging. “Avoiding it would return 20 years back at the development of tourism,” he insists. Initiated there 18 months, the debate is still alive among hoteliers.
By June 24, all the hoteliers will have to decide between two options. “We have a choice: a tax of 3.5% or no tax at all,” says Denis Beauchamp. It represents annual revenues of $ 1.5 million, says the director of the economic development in LDCs. This money will be injected into the promotion of Brome-Missisquoi and will finance the offer of tourist development funds.
Already negative 10 years ago, the trade balance has widened for tourism in Quebec. “Every year, Quebecers spend $ 4 billion more a year on holiday abroad than foreigners spend come home,” said Denis Beauchamp, to illustrate the positive impact that harmonization tax for the entire industry.
So far, two-thirds of hoteliers are in favor of tax harmonization. If the majority rules, the CLD will begin to perceive in November.
A tribute and novelties
The evening was also an opportunity to pay tribute to the Boulanger family, Mont Sutton and icon of the ski industry. A sculpture will be installed in the city in honor of the four generations of Boulanger working for half a century to develop the mountain.
We also took the opportunity to present the novelties of the season. Note, among others, the play Two naked men which will be played at the Théâtre Juste Pour rire Bromont, reopening the footpath village mountain in Sutton, new audioguided circuits cities Cowansville and Sutton and three exhibitions Missisquoi Museum , the Museum of history County and Sutton Museum.
The third edition of the cycling map of Brome-Missisquoi also includes more details on the mileage and condition of pavements.
Finally, the Brome-Missisquoi Tourist Guide is back with a circulation of 75,000 copies.