July 15, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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“La Voix” winner cries out from the heart for tourism on Ile-aux-Coudres

"La Voix" winner cries out from the heart for tourism on Ile-aux-Coudres

L’Isle-aux-Coudres traders say bad press linked to last winter’s ferry problems is still causing concern among visitors, causing traffic to drop by around 30% at the start of the tourist season.

The start of the summer season has been difficult for many merchants on Ile-aux-Coudres, who are discouraged from daily “correcting” the ferries’ bad reputation with their customers. Since May 30, the situation has returned to normal and both ferries are functioning.

Unlike previous years, traders claim that the summer season has started in “slow motion”.

“The world is still calling to see if it can pass,” laments Bouchard Bakery owner Noel-Ange Harvey.

The owner of Auberge La Fascine, singer Geneviève Jodoin, is the winner of the show speech In 2019, she also claimed to be experiencing the consequences.

She noted that potential visitors are afraid to visit the island.

“I really see the difference [par rapport aux années antérieures]. It has been a tough year in terms of reservations and show ticket sales,” said M.me Jodoin, has been in business in Isle-aux-Coudres for 10 years now.



Photo credit: Photo provided by Geneviève Jodoin

“All right”

However, no breakdowns or major delays have been reported in recent weeks. The ferry service is well underway and two vessels cross every half hour from Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive to L’Isle-aux-Coudres.

The mayor of the municipality, Christian Dufour, ensures the crossings Felix-Antoine Savard and Norwegian Swanoy, are now “liquid”. “Everything works great, everything is perfect,” he says.

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“It is with great excitement that we must announce that everything is back to normal!” Cidrerie and Vergers Pedneault co-owner Eric Desgagnes, also opened the restaurant Corylus.

Mr. Dufour noted that month-long trials for the ferry had begun. Joseph SawardIt was originally scheduled to return to L’Isle-aux-Coudres in June 2022.

It’s one of the final steps for its upgrade, undertaken nearly three years ago, which today has a budget of $43.3 million.

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The Société des Traversières du Québec also granted $65,000 to Tourisme l’Île-aux-Coudres to “promote the start of the tourist season.” Of this amount, $15,000 was earmarked for an advertising campaign to promote the return of the two-ship ferry service beginning June 8, three weeks in advance.

Despite everything, “the damage has already been done”, tell us traders, who are now worried about a possible financial collapse in the summer season.

“If people weren’t there, we would never have made up for the loss we suffered this winter. [en raison des problèmes de transport]Fears M.me Jodoin.

Arrival of the Europeans

Fortunately, they point out that the imminent arrival of European tourists in Quebec will help improve their sales.

“They don’t hear much about ferry problems!” Mr. Desgagnés said.

Concerned traders

“People still think there is no boat to come to the Isle”, says Eric Desgagnes, co-owner of Cidery and Vergers Pednault, as well as Corylus restaurants.

“Six months ago people heard there were problems and wouldn’t come, suddenly there is a problem. But the island is welcoming, I use the ferry several times a week and everything is fine, no problem,” Genevieve Jodoin, owner of Auberge La Fassin.

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“These things worry me [les répercussions des problèmes de traversiers auprès des touristes] », Noelle-Ange Harvey, owner of Boulangerie Bouchard.

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