A new document by The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), as part of its Relaunch MTL initiative, illustrates how hard Montreal's tourism industry has been hit by the economic woes of COVID-19.
According to the document, the city's tourism sector has been one of the economic areas hit hardest by the pandemic and it describes the situation as "catastrophic."
Michel Leblanc, president of the CCMM, stated in the document that Montreal's airports saw a 98% decrease in passengers between May and July, compared to 2019.
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The document also states that Montreal's major hotels, which were 85% occupied between May and August of last year, saw an occupancy rate of just 14% in the same period this year.
Downtown Montreal lost 92% of its usual traffic during the pandemic. The document also states that, currently, downtown offices — taking their limited capacity into account due to COVID-19 — are only between five and 10 percent occupied.
While the downtown core usually receives 600,000 people daily, including 350,000 workers, the document says that only 50,000 people passed through the area in August of this year.
The postponement, cancellation and online transformation of some of Montreal's festivals in COVID-19 red zones could have caused the city to lose approximately $19 million per event, the document states.
The document says Montreal is also at risk of losing nearly 30% of its restaurants as a result of the pandemic.
The CCMM presented its plan of action for strengthening the tourism sector at a press conference held on the morning of November 27, and discussions are set to continue into the early afternoon.