Looking back on summer 2022: Destination marked by sustainable tourism

Îles de la Madeleine, October 27, 2022 — Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine presented its traditional wrap-up of the season on Tourism Day, October 27, 2022, at the recreational centre of Lavernière. The event also allowed for the presentation of all projects realized as part of the sustainable tourism strategy for the destination.

The appeal of the destination

It can now be confirmed that the destination remains as popular as ever after having been greatly affected by the pandemic in 2020 and, to a lesser extent, in 2021.

This continued appeal is reflected in the high 20% traffic increase on the tourismeilesdelamadeleine.com website, with a 21% rise in new users and a 3% rise in the time spent on the site. 28% of the five million page visits were to the English version of the website, and 72% to the French version.

For the first time since the creation of the website, more than 50% of the visits were made from a mobile device. Connections at the destination also increased by 7%, proving that the ATR website remains an essential resource for both travel planning and information research once on-site.

As for the locations from which the website was accessed, Canada displays the highest increase at 20%. This increase comes mainly from the Québécois market, at 12%, and from Ontario, at 185%. The United States (-10%), France (-15%), and the Maritimes provinces (-38%) are markets where interest needs to be renewed, in partnership with Québec maritime and the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec.

Visits to the destination

For the June to September 2022 period, 73,600 visitors travelled to the destination, representing a 17% overall increase from 2019. A more detailed analysis of this number reveals significant variations worthy of a closer look.

The 44,350 passengers of the ferry (excluding residents) represent a 3% increase in maritime travel, most of which spread across the beginning and the end of the season, with a 40% rise in June and a 9% rise in September. The middle of summer remains stable, with a slight increase of 2% in July and a 6% drop in August.

The 29,250 visitors who arrived by plane represent a 140% rise in air travel. These visitors now amount to 40% of all arrivals on the Islands, compared to 20% in 2019. This rise is distributed across all summer months, and noticeably so in September thanks to the Programme d'accès aérien aux régions and the addition of more flights. The month of May also shows an important increase in traffic, both by ferry and by plane.

It should be noted that the 2022 data is compared with numbers from 2019, the year taken as a reference point before the pandemic.

Portrait of the visitors

Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine also presented the results of its end-of-stay survey, compiled from June to September 2022. The survey, now offered online, can be filled by visitors all year. Out of the 503 respondents,

  • 57% booked their transportation, and 46% booked their accommodation 6 to 11 months beforehand;
  • The average expenses were $1,132 per person;
  • 50% were visiting for the first time, and 78% hope to visit again;
  • 88% appreciated the warm welcome offered by the Madelinots;
  • 70% used the tourist guide once they arrived.

Sustainable tourism

Numerous projects realized as part of the sustainable tourism strategy were presented on Tourism Day. To name a few,

  • The progression of the new brand image for the destination, developed by the Récréation agency, to be unveiled on April 19, 2023;
  • The presentation of the study on the evolution of the vacation home accommodation model in Les Îles de la Madeleine, paving the way for what could be a solution to managing the flow of tourists to the destination;
  • The awareness campaigns We love it in Les Îles, and I care for Les Îles.

The industry still faces many challenges, namely in terms of labour availability, accommodation options for seasonal workers and reliable air services, but also a steadier offer of services and activities outside of the high season. However, we're confident that the tourist cycle is returning to normal as the pandemic finally seems to wane.

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Michel Bonato
General Manager
Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine T: (418) 986 2245, ext. 225

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