Quebec invests heavily in its tourism future

Tuesday’s unprecedented budget investment of nearly a half-billion dollars into tourism and cultural initiatives serves as recognition that Quebec’s tourism industry is a driver of economic growth and prosperity, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). In his 2012 budget speech, Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand earmarked nearly $465 million over the next five years for tourism infrastructure and programming, alongside additional monies for transportation infrastructure and the cultural sector. “Quebec’s tourism industry will be buoyed by the extraordinary investments in tourism, culture and infrastructure announced in the 2012 budget,”says TIAC president David Goldstein. “This historic commitment will allow Quebec to capitalize on its tourism strengths, driving economic activity, creating jobs and generating new tax revenue in the province.”Among the highlights in the budget announcement: !!! $240 million between 2012 and 2015 towards a tax credit for renovation work on accommodations properties outside of Montreal and Quebec City; !!! $85 million over the next five years towards a new loan and loan guarantee program for projects that seek to develop innovative tourism products; !!! Creation of a new division of Investissement Québec dedicated to the tourism industry to support entrepreneurs; !!! $35 million over the next two years for Sépaq, Quebec’s provincial parks agency for improvements to the Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, and the Parc national des Grands-Jardins; !!! $30 million towards the construction of the Le Diamant theatre in Vieux-Québec in Quebec City; !!! $125 million towards Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 in 2017.