Despite some poor weather at the start of the summer season, tourism and tourist spending are up in Montreal for its 375th anniversary year, Tourism Montreal says.
According to industry projections, tourism spending in the city will reach $3.6 billion this year — almost a 10 per cent increase over last year — and boost tax revenues to $1.45 billion.
Tourism Montreal president Yves Lalumière said the city's anniversary celebrations have done great things for his industry.
"Montreal's 375th anniversary has boosted the city's international reputation and will act as a springboard for years to come," Lalumière said.
He did note, however, that only about one-third of visitors are aware of the anniversary.
He credits the favourable exchange rate as helping to draw more American visitors, as well as his organization's marketing efforts in countries such as China and Mexico.
Those efforts paid off with a 32 per cent increase in tourists from China and a 119 per cent increase in tourists from Mexico. Overall, the increase in foreign tourists amounted to six per cent.
Passenger traffic was also up 11 per cent at Montreal's Pierre Trudeau International Airport in June and July.
Formula E impact unclear
While Lalumière says the number of foreign tourists attending the Formula One event was up 15 per cent, he said Tourism Montreal didn't have any attendance figures for the new Formula E electric car race.
"It's a good event," he said. "We have to give it time. For us, it's a plus."