Business Tourism – A Key Sector in Regional Tourism Development

16 June 2017

The Quebec Association of Convention Professionals (QACP) held its annual Quebec City event on June 15th. 35 of the most active regional destinations for business tourism met with about 100 convention organisers at the Hotel Chateau Laurier Quebec. The objective of this event was to showcase Quebec regions for several hours in a single location in order to promote the organisation of major business events across Quebec.

Over the past fifteen years or so, many private promoters across Quebec have made major investments in business tourism hosting infrastructure. Far from slowing down, this movement continues today. For example, think about the major investments made in Drummondville, Rivière-du-Loup, St-Hyacinthe and soon Trois-Rivières. These entrepreneurs understand the perfect complementarity between business clients and those associated with leisure travel. In fact, convention tourism is a tourism product that does not rely on the summer season and as such it generates significant revenue throughout the year, helping to consolidate jobs in the different regions of Quebec.

Additionally, these investments also have a structuring effect for different municipalities by allowing the development of poles that can welcome different clients, from small meetings to international conventions. As such, events and conventions of any kind remain popular and their future is promising, as the need to meet to develop efficient and effective networks is essential today. This is interesting given that business tourism generates twice the revenue of the other tourism segments! In 2016, tourism spending for the 2,123 conventions and meetings that took place in the regional QACP network generated $106 million. In short, the window of opportunity is fully open and many of the conditions required to take advantage of it are present.

In this favorable context, Mrs. Julie Boulet, Minister of Tourism, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Laviolette met with the members of QACP and event and convention planners who met at the Chateau Laurier. She reiterated the importance of business tourism for her ministry. Mrs. Boulet also indicated that she is aware of the special characteristics of this tourism sector and the need for the Quebec government to develop a global vision of the sector in order to identify the measures that will support local initiatives, reinforce links between partners and consolidate the tourism offer while enriching the visitor’s experience. The right actions for the business tourism sector will increase its contribution to the economic development of Quebec. The minister also added that this responsible ministerial approach will rely on consultations will regional leaders. The details of the process, the methods and the consultation calendar will be presented soon.

The QACP would like to thank Mrs. Boulet for her warm presence and for her speech. The analysis she provided and the issues she underlined were in complete cohesion with those of our organisation. We would like to reaffirm to the minister that the QACP will be a dynamic actor and will collaborate throughout the process that will help define the development strategy for business tourism. We will work hard to prepare the tools that will support the different regional poles in their respective development.

Business tourism is defined as the economic business sector characterised by professional travel and business travel made in the context of company events, training and information events and commercial or business activities, which are twinned with activities and services offered by actors in the field of leisure travel.

The QACP brings together more than 130 qualified organisations and actors who understand the convention market in their respective regions. These business tourism professionals are the lead advisors for planners, and their event organisation support is offered for free. The strength of the QACP network will ensure the success of any event across Quebec! Consult for more details.

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Steeve Gagné
QACP President
Tourisme Victoriaville et sa région
Phone: 1 888 758-9451

Ginette Bardou
General Manager
Phone: 1 888 969-1307

Photo: From left to right, Anne-Marie Brochu-Girard – Vecteur5, Martin Lévesque – Hôtel Universel Centre de congrès of Rivière-du-Loup, Yannick Beaupertuis – Estrimont Suites et Spa, Steeve Gagné – Tourisme Victoriaville et sa région & QACP President, Julie Boulet, Yan Hamel – Croisières AML, Véronique Gaudreault  – C Hôtels Group, Nancy Lambert – Saint-Hyacinthe Technopole, Johanne Caron- Château Laurier Québec & Ginette Bardou, QACP General Manager.
Photo Courtesy : NHPhotographes.