Travel responsibly and sustainably

A Positive Track Record for 2018

Îles de la Madeleine, traverse, traversier, mer

Cap-aux-Meules, October 24, 2018 — The year of 2018 is characterized by an increase of 7% in the overall traffic of the destination. The detailed analysis of the data provided by the carriers demonstrates how important the qualitative aspect of those results is compared to the quantitative aspect.

The months of July and August are now associated with a very limited growth. The expansion of the tourist season and the structuring of the offer remain the top priorities of the Association touristique régionale des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (ATR) and its members.

2018 Entries Data

Therefore, the ATR is pleased to note that the main increases in traffic are linked to the visitors who took the ferry to get to the destination during the months of May (+28%), June (+24%) and September (+13%). As Ms. Claudia Delaney said: "If we compare the traffic of the ferry in the long run, we have had a total increase of 25% over the last five years. This is mainly due to the increase in traffic during the months of June and September. The efforts to expand the tourist season are beneficial, and this is great news."

As for the cruises, the Vacancier had yet another successful year, with a +4% increase in entries. In terms of international cruises, the Arcadia and its 2,400 passengers did not offset the cancellation of two major ships due to weather conditions. Overall, approximately 4,800 cruise passengers came to the Islands, mainly during the months of September and October. On that note, we saw a 20% decrease in the number of international cruise passengers. The 2019 season is already looking much more promising than what was planned for the 2018 season. The cruises account for 13% of all entries on the archipelago. On an annual basis, the marine access accounts for 76% of all entries.

The air traffic is associated with 24% of all entries on the archipelago. On the one hand, Air Canada experienced notable increases over the summer, mostly at the beginning of the season. In this regard, Ms. Bonnie Walker, Director of Sales (Western Canada and Québec) for Air Canada said: "As a partner of the destination, we are pleased to join forces with the tourism sector stakeholders to expand the season and contribute to the economic development of the Îles de la Madeleine." On the other hand, Pascan had a very busy season with a notable increase during the month of September. Overall, the air traffic accounts for 24% of all entries, with approximately 18,000 passengers.

In total, 77 000 visitors came to the archipelago in 2018, which represents a +7% increase.

Website and Social Media Data

Despite an 8% decrease, the website of the destination remains a must with 484,000 users, and once again scores the first position among Québec's maritime regions. The data analysis shows an increase in the quality of visitors with +5% for the number of sessions per user and +6% for the number of pages per user, for a total of 6 million pages viewed. The main reasons behind these quantitative changes are: the experience-themed newsletters who generated a better opening rate; the Web-based campaigns and actions that were even more targeted; the lack of large-scale contests; and the changes regarding the algorithms on Facebook.

Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine is proud to announce the success of its blog with more than 30,000 visits since its creation in March 2018. Social media data demonstrate the solid performance of the destination. With a community of approximately 50,000 people on Facebook, the Îles de la Madeleine takes the 7th spot among Québec's tourist destinations. The #fousdesiles campaign keeps on delivering with 7,691 posts during the summer of 2018, for a grand total of 24,000 posts since the beginning of the campaign three years ago.

Tourist Information Office and Posting Data

Even though the Tourist Information Office noted a slight increase in the number of welcoming acts for the 2018 season, the analysis shows a few increases consistent with the carriers' data, especially in terms of demand for the months of May (+38%) and September (+10%).

The +24% increase in mailing and requests for the Official Tourist Guide should also be noted. The viewing of the online version is becoming more and more popular with a grand total of 338,323 pages viewed, for a +160% increase. The Official Tourist Guide remains the main source of information for more than 70% of all visitors. The ATR enhanced its publications to meet a growing need for the creation of a bike map and a walking trail booklet. The various itineraries are also available on the ATR's website (under the bike and walking trail sections).

Business Survey

• 85% of respondents experienced an increase in terms of tourism traffic.

• 46% of respondents noticed an increase in the spending of tourists.

• 67% of respondents stated that their sales are growing.

Analysis of the Visitor Survey

Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine takes advantage of the closing of the tourist season to unveil new profiles of tourists. Created in partnership with the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM), the profiles of visitors are based on surveys conducted during the summer season of 2016. The analysis was completed in 2018, and three documents were created—one for each means of transportation, i.e. the ferry, the plane and the cruise (CTMA Vacancier).

The three documents include information about the composition and socio-economic characteristics of the tourists, the length of stay, the attraction elements, the choice of lodging, the spending, the levels of satisfaction, and much more.


About Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine
Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine comprises about 360 tourism businesses located in the archipelago, and its primary mandate is to increase the outreach of the Îles de la Madeleine's tourism industry. Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine also plays a leadership role in welcoming tourists and providing them with information, as well as in developing and marketing the region as a tourist destination.


Michel Bonato, General Manager
Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine
418-986-2245, ext. 225

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