December 3, 2015
Record results confirm the Saint Lawrence as a must see destination with international cruise lines
Québec, November 26th 2015 – Dominique Vien, Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for Chaudière/Appalaches region and Member of the National Assembly for Bellechasse, today unveiled official results for the 2015 international cruise season compiled by Cruise the Saint Lawrence (CSL). For the occasion, Ms Vien was accompanied by Jean D’Amour, Minister Delegate for Transport and Implementation of Maritime Strategy and minister responsible for the Lower Saint Lawrence and Gaspé/Magdalen Islands regions, Sam Hamad, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and minister responsible for the capital region, Tony Boemi, President of Cruise the Saint Lawrence and Vice President, Growth and Development at Montréal Port Authority, and Mario Girard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Québec Port Authority.
This year, 29 different international cruise ships sailed the waters of the Saint Lawrence for a total of 435 stopovers in our 9 ports of call. As a consequence, 373 880 individuals — 269 940 cruise ship passengers and 103 940 crew members — enjoyed an opportunity to visit our shores. Of this number, 115 427 passengers embarked or disembarked at port facilities in Québec or Montréal, generating added visitor spending at each of these two destinations. These results represent an increase over figures reported for 2014 when 348 stopovers by 27 different ships were observed in these same ports during the period from May to November. The three busiest ports were Québec, Montréal and Saguenay respectively frequented by 45.1%, 24.3% and 12.2% of international cruise passengers.
"I welcome these positive results with satisfaction. Destination Saint Lawrence consistently gains in notoriety with international cruise lines from one year to the next owing notably to promotional activities and implementation of strategies developed by the Ministry of Tourism and international cruise sector partners. A number of our member ports of call had the pleasure of welcoming new ships. Moreover, the year 2015 marked the return of the Marco Polo which, after an absence of 35 years, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ship's inaugural visit to Québec in 1966. Given that cruise-based tourism generates added annual visitor spending of $145 million and accounts for 1600 direct sector-related jobs, we must continue to deploy all necessary efforts to ensure that we position the Saint Lawrence as a destination of choice," underscored Minister Vien.
"The cruise passenger results presented to us today are nothing short of exceptional. For several years now, the Saint Lawrence has continued to welcome ever increasing numbers of cruise ships, thereby substantiating Québec's position as an international calibre cruise destination. Through Québec's first Maritime Strategy, our government will render possible the modernization of cruise passenger greeting infrastructure at Québec and Montréal, while supporting other Saint Lawrence enhancement initiatives," stated Minister Jean D’Amour.
"The cruise industry represents added value in an amount approaching $25 million for the economy of Québec region. I am also delighted to learn that our port of call at Québec is the most frequented of the nine. Cruise passengers arriving at Québec are welcomed into the enchanting ambience of Old Québec and immediately charmed by an experience which transports them back in time to another era," pointed up Minister Hamad.
"Based on bookings received to date by our different Saint Lawrence ports of call, we can already confirm that the upcoming season promises to be as good, if not better than the one just ended. This is a sure sign of cruise line confidence and proof positive that efforts by member ports of call to enhance cruise passenger greeting infrastructure have begun to pay handsome rewards. We aim to pursue efforts in this regard and provide passengers with the best greeting experience in the industry," stated Tony Boemi, President of Cruise the Saint Lawrence.
Tourism component of Maritime Strategy
The tourism component of the Maritime Strategy Program seeks to develop and enhance Québec's tourism supply by transforming tourism into a competitive, sustainable, innovative and attractive industry for visitors from home and out-of-province markets.
A number of innovative initiatives have materialized along the shores of the Saint Lawrence, spawning appealing tourism products for cruise ship passengers and Québecers alike. Indeed, in the not too distant future, Minister Vien will be announcing other projects in regions across Québec designed to expand the province's tourism supply.
About Cruise the Saint Lawrence
Cruise the Saint Lawrence is a sectoral organization which groups together the nine ports of call located along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The mission of the organization is to position Destination Saint Lawrence with cruise companies by defining and coordinating development efforts and partner/port of call attributes, the ultimate aim being to build a genuine ‘Cruise the Saint Lawrence’ brand.
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Cruise the Saint Lawrence