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Quebec's Îles-de-la-Madeleine Want To Charge Every Visitor A $30 Entrance Fee

You'll probably have to start paying admission to get to the popular destination.

Senior Editor
A crowded beach on Quebec's Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

A crowded beach on Quebec's Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Heading to Quebec's Maritime island escape will probably soon cost you even more than it already does. As La Presse first reported, the municipal agglomeration council of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine has voted to impose a $30 fee on almost every person who visits the islands. The fee would not apply to residents or people who own local property.

The council argues that with just 13,000 residents, the region simply doesn't have the resources to maintain the environmental protection measures and local infrastructure it needs to accommodate the islands' 70,000 annual visitors.

To justify the move, the Communauté maritime des Îles-de-la-Madeleine cites section 500.6 of the Quebec Cities and Towns Act, which gives municipalities the power to charge fees to fund its directives.

The plan is to partner with ferry companies and airlines to levy the fee on incoming visitors over the age of 12. The fee would form part of the total price for a ticket on one of those carriers. The council estimates the scheme would raise about $1.5 million every year.

In a statement, officials said the fees would finance a new Sustainable Land Management Fund, half of which the Communauté maritime des Îles-de-la-Madeleine would spend on waste management services and a regional park. The other half, the council would remit to the islands' largest municipality, Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, to pay for recreation and tourism infrastructure.

It's not clear when exactly the $30 fee could take effect. The council said that its vote declared an "intention" to create the Sustainable Land Management Fund in 2023. It also specified that it would need to collaborate with carriers to determine a start date.

"The objective of this fund is to ensure quality recreation and tourism services and to help protect the territory, not to hinder the tourism industry," the council said.

"The goal is to protect and preserve what makes the Îles-de-la-Madeleine special and what keeps visitors coming back each year in order to sustain the industry."

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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