Federal Government's Travel Rules Threatening to Deprive Quebec of International Tourists This Winter – Yahoo Finance

Mandatory pre-departure PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers to Canada is a major obstacle for international visitors and prevents Quebec's ability to showcase itself to the world
Quebec business, sport and cultural leaders – including leaders from the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, Clarion Pointe Aéroport Québec and Croisières AML– join the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable in calling on the Canadian government to remove the pre-departure PCR test for fully vaccinated visitors, regardless of trip duration
QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 24, 2021 /CNW/ – Together with the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable"), Quebec business leaders operating in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries are calling on the federal government to remove the mandatory pre-departure PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers coming into Quebec, regardless of how long they have been outside of Canada.
For decades, international visitors have flocked to Quebec during the winter to to experience its unique and world-renowned events such as the Carnaval de Quebec, the Hôtel de Glace and the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.
These events attract a significant number of international visitors. The Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament alone attracts teams from all over the world, and over 1,315 previous tournament participants have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.
This hockey tournament is now experiencing another year of international teams withdrawing from competition. This is not only tragic for the youth who are missing an opportunity to compete, but for our local Quebec City economy. The consequences are real: hotels and restaurants have seen a significant decrease in patrons and other travel-related expenses from these events have diminished.
International visitors have significant positive knock-on effects for the broader Quebec economy. Without international visitors the survival of local events and businesses is being threatened.
Quebec's tourism industry supports 402,000 jobs and more than 30,159 businesses, more than two-thirds of which are located outside the Quebec City and Montreal region.1 The vast majority of these businesses are small businesses, with 82.4% having fewer than 20 employees.2 Moreover, it is estimated that for every dollar spent by tourists, approximately $0.70 benefits the Quebec economy.3
Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Quebec: https://alliancetouristique.com/lindustrie-touristique-en-chiffres/
Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Quebec: https://alliancetouristique.com/lindustrie-touristique-en-chiffres/
Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Quebec: https://alliancetouristique.com/lindustrie-touristique-en-chiffres/
A pre-departure PCR test for arrivals into Canada runs counter to the recommendations made by the Canadian federal government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel ("The Expert Panel"), which concluded that fully vaccinated travellers should not require a pre-departure test for a trip of any duration.
Recent changes by the federal government removing the PCR test requirement for those that have been outside of Canada for less than 72 hours does nothing to help Quebec businesses. In fact, these changes opened a one-way door allowing Canadians to leave the country, while disincentivizing international visitors from coming here.
Travel measures should be based on a traveller's vaccination status and should be consistent with the recommendation of the government's Expert Panel. The Canadian government's mandatory pre-departure PCR test to enter the country leads international travellers to do business elsewhere and hurts international tourism and our local economy.
The pandemic, vaccination status, and available science has evolved; so too should the response and measures to keep Canadians safe while allowing Quebec's cultural institutions to prosper once again.
"Quebec's hospitality sector is heavily dependent on international travel. At a time when this sector has already been hit hard, the federal government should be doing everything it can to promote Quebec to the world. Instead, we have rules discouraging people from coming here. The message from our businesses is clear: time is running out. We need the federal government to remove the pre-departure PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers now."
Jean-François Côté
Propriétaire du Clarion Pointe Aéroport Québec, Président du CA de Destination Québec Cité
"For more than 60 years, the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament marked a right of passage for many young international athletes who would one day go on to play in the National Hockey League. From Guy Lafleur to Wayne Gretzky, and Patrick Roy to Connor McDavid, several of hockey's greats have played in our tournament. What started modestly in 1960 has today grown to including more than 2,500 players from more than 20 countries. This year, many international teams have canceled their participation as a direct result of the overly restrictive policies in Canada that do not align with the government's own expert recommendations. It has resulted in a major loss for Québec City and the entire province. The Pee-Wee tournament is the most prestigious minor-hockey tournament with a proven international reputation. This tournament has been known to be the best spot in the world to develop top-tier athletes. The rising of associated costs has become an obstacle to the participation of many athletes."
Patrick Dom
Directeur général, Tournoi International de Hockey Pee-Wee de Québec
"The pre-departure PCR test – even with the changes made last week that permit fully-vaccinated Canadians to visit the US without a test for trips of 72-hour or less – does nothing to encourage foreign visitors back to Quebec or Canada. In fact, the new policy makes Canada's travel rules more confusing and as costly."
Lucie Charland
Directrice générale adjointe de Croisières AML
"The PCR test is a major barrier for middle-class families hoping to travel to Quebec. As one of the largest travel agencies in Quebec, I have seen firsthand the rising number of cancellations as a result of the pre-departure PCR test. Families simply aren't travelling to Canada. The cost and inconvenience are too high."
Luzana Rada
Présidente-directrice générale chez Global Tourisme
About the Canadian Tourism Roundtable
The Canadian Tourism Roundtable is a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – including representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country – committed to working together to restart the sector smoothly and safely. Travel and Tourism is a $102 billion sector, employing millions of Canadians across the country and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. It advocates for a safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable
View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2021/24/c1268.html
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