August 9, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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End the tourist mess

End the tourist mess

Some are happy with the resumption of tourism around the world. We still need to agree on which ones.

In Quebec, from the point of view of some restaurateurs, the resurgence of tourism is a wonderful thing.

But who could be more pleased than a few merchants to see throngs of tourists once again flocking to Old Quebec with the sole aim of strolling behind the guide’s little flag?

Many cities around the world are suffering from poor quality tourism.

Many Quebec villages like Percy are real tourist traps.

The Montreal case

Montreal also has a touristy mess.

For example, La Ronde, which formerly belonged to the city of Montreal and was sold to American private interests, became an ugly money-making machine that completely disfigured the premises. Lac des Dauphins is no longer really accessible and appears to be in the process of filling. All possibilities are destroyed. Advertisements are common. Food is expensive, American and poor quality. The music is mostly in English. The site has become distinctly ugly and unpleasant compared to what it was before.

The problem is that our leaders continued to think of tourism in the 20th century before the age of selfies.

Talking about Montreal as a festival city is meaningless in 2022. Montreal’s more peaceful neighborhoods are encroached upon by a variety of routine tourist activities that disturb the residents’ tranquility.

Sometimes, elected municipal officials may think that they have done the wrong thing and they have become animators at holiday camps. But citizens are not children who ask for fun. This contributes to the displacement of residents from large cities.

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There are solutions to combat mass tourism.

The first is henceforth to encourage each other with festivals that tirelessly follow each other.

Failing to ban cruise ships, as in Venice, many towns and villages charge fees to foreign tourists who do not sleep on site.

Some national parks may impose foreign visitor quotas, as the Creeks do near Marseille.

One of the lessons of the pandemic is to show that Quebec’s economy doesn’t need tourism to function well. This is not to say that tourism should stop or that it does not contribute to the economy, but it is the right time to promote quality tourism as opposed to quantity tourism.

Moreover, shortage of staff is leading in this direction.

Almost everyone is interested if there is less activity in the future Fast food and more quality tourism activities. The salaries are better and the sites are nicer.