The construction holiday has been, for a number of entrepreneurs from the Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec, a nice surprise, the tourists quebecers have been waiting for you.
At the Domaine & Vins Gélinas, employees must fill out the shelves several times per day, with about 250 clients on parade on a daily basis.
“For us, this is an increase of 25%. It was a nice surprise! We did not expect the traffic. All the more that the international visitors are not present. This week, we bottled 10 000 new bottles. This inventory will be sold in a month,” explained the co-owner of the Field, Frédéric, Gélinas, to TVA Nouvelles.
A few miles away, the co-owner of the shop, Nothing is lost, all is created…, Saint-Severe, also confirms an increase of its customer base.
“Perhaps an increase of 5% to 10%. It is difficult to calculate so we do not stop. However, what we note is the difference in the different regions. It distributes in 80 points of sale and in the shops of Old Montreal and Quebec, the numbers are not there. Just the opposite here in Saint-Severe, and in the regions! The Quebec leave the great centres”, analyzed Marie-Claude Trempe.
At the Ranch Dupont, the family has three times more customers than at the same date last year. Neighbors and volunteers have been called in reinforcement to meet the demand.
“Last year, we were shooting with 50 or 70 people per day during the week and 100 to 150 on the weekends. This year, there is more to 200 to 250 per day the week and 400 up to 600 on the weekend! We don’t expect that! As with the pandemic, we do not know at what moment we would open our site”, explained the co-owner of the Ranch Jolyane Campanozzi.
Not all benefit, however, not in the tourist trade. The City of Energy, inability to perform due to the pandemic and the health measures result in a lot of traffic historically low, with an average of 18 visitors per hour. So, a hundred of people visit the tourist attraction of Shawinigan per day, compared with 800 to 900 at the same date last year.
“It is a completely different from what one has always known. However, the positive side is that we have many employees, so the visits are more controlled and the customer experience is personalized,” explained the responsible of the animation to the City of Energy, Mario Lachance.
This decline in ridership in the City has implications in the places of accommodation of the city. As the plans with the show Nezha, the child pirate , Cirque Éloize has been cancelled, the Auberge Gouverneur Shawinigan lost thousands of customers this summer.
“I have to say that, in the circumstances, we are quite happy. During the two weeks of construction, it was operating at 75%. A financial gain which is good, but it’s not going to absorb the rest of the season, which is more difficult”, explained the new director general of the hotel, Rachel Lariviere.
Tourisme Mauricie anticipates significant economic losses. The lack of international visitors and business tourism, which leaves very slowly hurt to different players in the sector, including several museums that operate at 25% capacity.
A survey will be done among the members, and an official report will be presented in the next few weeks.