The idea of establishing a work week of four days to revive the tourism industry after the pandemic is attractive, say experts consulted by The Newspaper, but the expected economic benefits remain uncertain.
“It could be interesting. If people have a long weekend, they can do more things like travel or outdoor sports activities. It can contribute to a recovery, ” says Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, professor at the School of administrative sciences of the Université du Québec-TÉLÉ.
The prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, was the first to suggest the idea. By compressing the hours of work over four days, this could promote the domestic tourism on the island with five million inhabitants, according to it.
More recently, some representatives of the British Columbia focus also on the issue for the fall.
Gain for the tourism
In Quebec, 75 % of tourists are from quebec, and mainly montreal. By introducing a four-day week, the regions could most benefit from these tourists, ” says Paul Arseneault, a professor in the School of management sciences of the Université du Québec à Montréal and director of the tourism intelligence Network.
“You’re not going to do a five-hour drive on Saturday morning and come back the next day, there is a psychological barrier. Adding an extra night to take away this barrier, ” says Arseneault.
Like him, Ms. smith think that this solution could be beneficial for the economy. “In France, when they went from 39 h to 35 h per week, it has been found that there were more departures in the long weekend of three days,” she adds.
Difficult to predict
However, for Philip Merrigan, a professor in the Department of economics of the University of Quebec in Montreal, it is difficult to know if this would really generate economic benefits for tourism.
According to him, the problem is that there is no study that shows what people would do with a day of additional leave.
“Is this what they would spend with their child, would repair their house or dedicate to go outside, such as in hostels ? This is not at all clear “, he explains.
He thinks, moreover, that ” the politicians can see that the tourism industry and the catering is going to be a disaster, and they throw ideas in the hope that there is one who could walk.”