Wellcome from Mr. Bruno Marchand

Mayor of Quebec City

Tourism is an important economic engine for our beautiful city. The past few months, and more specifically the summer season, have shown that the time has come to revive our region's most beautiful attractions, while visitor interest in our destination has demonstrated that Quebec City remains close to people's hearts, for a number of reasons.

The first thing that strikes one about Quebec City is the many magnificent views of the St. Lawrence River that enhance the surrounding landscape.

In addition, history is present everywhere, in each of its streets, monuments, sites and historic buildings. With its rich past giving it its European cachet, the city abounds with museums and historical attractions.

Quebec City vibrates to the rhythm of the seasons and the many large-scale events and exhibitions that animate it. Here, joie de vivre is part of the landscape, and you are sure to encounter it during your visits. Take the time to enjoy the good times, soak up the festive spirit of the place and let your senses guide you to a culture that is internationally recognised for its uniqueness and bold initiatives.

You're sure to understand why our tourism sector is renowned the world over. That's why the City of Quebec will be a privileged partner to help build a strong industry that benefits residents, businesses and visitors.

As Mayor of Quebec City, I am very excited to see the entire Quebec City community, including the business and tourism communities and citizens, working together to develop a common vision for our destination locally and internationally. All in a way that ensures the sustainability of this city, which perfectly blends history and modernity, where it is good to live, work, thrive, entertain, express oneself and be informed.

So I look forward to helping you discover / rediscover it soon.

Mr. Bruno Marchand

Mayor of Quebec

Quebec City's focus on changing tourism

With its historic centre, its unique gastronomic scene, its lively Quebecois culture and its generous nature nearby, it will be hard not to succumb to the charms of Quebec City and its neighbourhoods. Summer on the terrace, winter on skates, and everything in between: there's no denying that city life is vibrant in all seasons! Between the many festivals, museums, restaurants, urban art and strolls through the shopping streets, there is no shortage of options for enjoying the city 365 days a year.

The Quebec region is full of activities and attractions that reflect a rich and authentic culture. The people of Quebec City are committed to offering a warm welcome to visitors who choose their destination for holidays, getaways or business trips. The inhabitants are happy and proud of their French-speaking culture in America and share their love of their region and their passions in both French and English at the various tourist sites.

After several consecutive years of tourism success, which saw record results through 2019, Quebec City saw its forward momentum cooled by the pandemic-induced pause in the global tourism industry, which initially disrupted the business plan of Destination Quebec City (then known as the Quebec City Office of Tourism) by having to refocus its actions on its own local market (i.e. residents of the Quebec region), but which also provided several opportunities for the organisation to take stock of its tourism vision.

Today, in 2022, Quebec City and its tourism office, Destination Quebec City (DQc), have demonstrated a clear willingness to build on the undeniable assets of its destination that make it unique in the world and that are natural pillars of sustainable tourism.

First of all, as a child of the St. Lawrence, Quebec City was born out of a desire to settle on this small strategic point of land. It was the commercial entry and exit point for the French and British empires in America during the period of colonisation.

It is home to one of UNESCO's heritage jewels, Old Quebec, the only fortified city north of Mexico, as well as a listed 17th century foundational heritage complex. This includes the oldest educational institution for women and the first hospital founded in the Americas north of Mexico, which still pursues its original social mission in global and sustainable health. It is located on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat Nation, the only French-speaking community of the Iroquois linguistic family in Quebec and Canada.

With 342 hectares of green space for 100,000 inhabitants, it offers a unique playground for its residents and visitors. Powered by hydroelectricity, the region, like the rest of the province, has a renewable and competitive form of energy, with a very limited environmental and climate impact compared to other traditional sources of electricity generation.

In addition to defining who we are, these assets dictate the path Quebec City must follow to preserve this precious heritage for future generations.

Destination Quebec cité's mission is therefore set to evolve to promote and support the development of tourism in the Quebec City region, fostering cooperation with the community to generate economic prosperity and sustainable benefits in a responsible manner. This will be done in three areas: competitiveness of organisations in the region, attractiveness and influence of the destination.

A new vision of tourism

A New World turned to a new world, just as Samuel de Champlain did when he arrived here. The City of Quebec and DQc wish to mobilize the Québec community around a strong, future-compatible vision that will boost Quebec City's attractiveness and influence in a new world:

  • a warm, authentic and inspiring destination;

  • a destination recognised for its qualities and its human dimension;

  • businesses committed to deploying creative and responsible initiatives to offer visitors an even truer and more memorable experience than ever before;

  • a close-knit industry, acting together to promote the region to travellers here and abroad.

Four main strategic orientations

On reflection, DQc identified these four main orientations to help you achieve your goals for future-compatible tourism:

  • Increasing collaborative leadership: applying best business practices to seize opportunities to do better together.

  • Stimulating balanced traffic in all seasons and throughout the territory: stimulating tourism prosperity while ensuring respect for the community and the destination's capacities.

  • Accelerate the shift to sustainable and responsible tourism: becoming one of the best in North America by working together, starting today, with stakeholders to protect the quality of the destination's living environment and distinctive assets.

  • Transforming the business intelligence model: evolving the current model and facilitating access to real-time, timely and accessible data.

While this will still require some adjustments, this change for Destination Quebec cité is relatively natural. With undeniable assets, a promotional approach launched in 2018 that aimed to focus more on winter, and thus lengthen the tourist season more year-round, a more formal relationship with residents living in the busiest tourist areas: the first seeds had been sown for this more assertive positioning towards responsible tourism.

"The aim was not to undo everything we had tried to achieve in recent years, but simply to preserve what we had achieved. The aim is not to undo everything we have tried to achieve in recent years, but simply to preserve what we have achieved. Given that winter is part of the DNA of our destination, it makes sense to make the most of the winter experience on offer. Another element is to ensure that residents support the canvassing work being done and, in doing so, make them ambassadors for the destination by creating opportunities for them to meet visitors. This will enhance the experience for visitors, who will be able to access an authentic tourism offer, while allowing residents to actively participate in the promotion of the destination," said Robert Mercure, Director of Destination Quebec cité.

Concrete actions

DQc is therefore deploying a number of initiatives and actions that will enable it to achieve its objectives in a concrete way. Here are some examples:

  • GHG emissions calculator and carbon offsetting.

  • Projects to promote sustainable mobility for visitors to its territory.

Destination Quebec cité offers public transport to visitors staying a minimum of 2 nights in an establishment in the tourist region in the summer of 2022 and has offered helmets for bicycle loan stations to some 35 accommodation establishments located near the stations in Quebec City.

  • Destination jeunesse: an advisory committee of students aged 12 to 17.

As future travellers, but above all as responsible residents of tomorrow, the members of this committee will act as special advisors to the management of Destination Quebec cité and tourism businesses to develop a tourism destination that corresponds to their vision and values.

  • Responsible tourism web section and a section dedicated to the region's residents

A specific section on responsible tourism has been created to encourage more responsible travel. The contents presented there give advice and present establishments that care about the environment, the social aspect or the local economy. There is a section dedicated to the residents of the region to encourage them to take ownership of the territory and its tourist attractions. This section will be reinforced with training, specific content and various initiatives aimed at involving residents in future debates and actions.

  • Creation of Quebec cité: sustainable tourism incubator

  • Financial support programmes available to tourism businesses.

  • Implementation of an internal sustainable development policy

Why visit Quebec City?

Simply because Quebec City is unique in America. Because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because its culture is unique in Canada, because it comes alive differently with each season, because it has world-class cuisine, because it is close to nature, because it is lively all year round, and because it is evolving in a way that offers a sustainable and responsible legacy to its community and to the world.

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