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Report on Îles de la Madeleine's 2023 summer tourist season

Îles de la Madeleine, November 8, 2023 - Like many Québec regions, Les Îles de la Madeleine recorded a decline of their summer tourist traffic in 2023. With 63,500 visitors accessing the destination between May and October 2023, there was a 13% drop compared to the same period in 2022.

This decrease may be due to several things: the challenging economic climate, a reduction of travelers' spending as a result of current inflation, a boost in Quebecers' departures for international destinations and an intensification of weather events.

This year, ferryboat entries accounted for 66% of traffic, with 42,500 visitors (a 10% drop). Air access accounted for 34% of all entries, that is 21,000 visitors (20% decrease). The total number of entries divide into 61% during the months of July and August, and 39% for May, June, September and October. A more detailed analysis shows that the 10% decline in ferry entries has a greater impact on the off season period, while the 20% air traffic decrease has a more significant effect on the peak season. Compared to the same period in 2019, there is a 7% decrease.

Although the Cap-aux-Meules port has seen an increase in the number of international cruise ship visits in 2023, with 33 ships (30 in 2022), a 17% drop in the number of disembarked passengers is noted totalizing 5,900 passengers. Eleven stops were cancelled, notably because of weather conditions.

The tourists' origin is still not as diverse as it was before the pandemic and over 90% of visitors are from Québec. The report's more detailed end-of-stay analysis, filled out by some 500 visitors who stayed in the destination between May and October 2023, shows there is stability in the length of the stay, with 10.5 nights and an increase in tourist spending that reached $1,274 per visitor, compared to $1,132 in 2022, which amounts to a 12% gain. Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine continues to prioritize visitor quality rather than quantity.

One out of two respondents says it was their first visit, similarly to 2022's profile. Furthermore, 80% of visitors are inclined to recommend the destination to a friend or colleague, compared to 89% in 2022. This index's decrease is related to the desire to discover other destinations or to how expensive it is to stay in the islands. The lower score may also be linked to a visitor-visited ratio that should remain as balanced as possible to provide an authentic, quality experience.

According to the season's report survey, conducted by the regional tourism association among its members (110 respondents), for 31% of tourist companies, traffic is stable, it is declining for 38% of them and rising for 31%. Regarding visitors' expenses, percentages are somewhat similar, with, respectively, 31% experiencing stability, 21% seeing a decrease and 25% an increase. Traffic from the local customer base remains stable for theses companies, for 55% of respondents.

In brief, the season will have been acceptable for 31% of respondents, satisfactory for 33% and excellent for 30% of the companies.

About Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine

Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine or Îles-de-la-Madeleine's destination marketing organization aims to bring its members and the community together in order to successfully welcome visitors, promote the destination and expand tourism, in harmony with the environment and its inhabitants. The organization ensures visitors enjoy an authentic, quality experience.

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Michel Bonato, Executive Director

418 986-2245 ext. 225

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