New strategic Plan Focused on a Changing Tourism

Press Release

Quebec, June 10, 2022 - Destination Québec cité (DQc) presented its 2022–2025 strategic plan to its members and partners. The plan aims to better meet industry and visitor expectations and new needs in the wake of the global pandemic. Although the most recent tourism forecasts suggest a significant recovery for the intra-Québec clientele, the work remaining to win back international customers is still considerable.
Destination Québec cité is positioning itself as a true idea hub for a more sustainable, responsible and innovative tourism. Moving to a new kind of tourism, DQc wants to be an even more inspiring destination.   
A new vision for tourism 
Just as Samuel de Champlain charted the New World when he arrived in Québec City, the organization is charting a new future by rallying its partners around a strong vision, one that caters to that future and that will take Québec City’s attractiveness and influence to new heights: 

  • A warm, authentic and inspiring destination 
  • A destination known for its qualities and human side 
  • Companies committed to deploying creative and responsible initiatives to give visitors an even more authentic and memorable experience than ever before 
  • A tightly woven industry, acting together to promote the region to travellers from here and abroad. 

The organization’s mission is changing. It must now promote and support tourism development in the Québec City region by fostering cooperation with the community to responsibly generate economic prosperity and sustainable benefits. The basis for these actions is three-fold: regional organization competitiveness, the destination’s attractiveness and its prestige.  

“The sudden stop in operations highlighted how critical tourism is for our city’s economic and social health. Ville de Québec will be a prime partner in helping build a strong industry that will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike,” said Bruno Marchand, Mayor of Québec City. 

“Faced with an unprecedented crisis in the tourism industry, our organization had to adapt and be bold in its creativity. As we have always done, we will continue to commit to the prosperity of tourism businesses and our residents’ quality of life. We will pave the way for a digital and sustainable transformation of travel and proudly position Québec City as the capital of the French-speaking world in North America,” said Jean-François Côté, Chairman of the Board, Destination Québec cité.
“Destination Québec cité’s role is changing along with the needs of the industry. We will be the catalyst that combines our teams’ expertise and talent with the community’s energy and creativity to create a hub of innovation. Together, let’s chart a prosperous and responsible transformation of the industry. Let’s make Québec City the city of ideas that come to life,” said Robert Mercure, General Manager, Destination Québec cité. 
Tourism industry stakeholders all agree that the pandemic brought on countless changes. As such, there are important factors influencing what comes next:  

  • The progress of sustainable development that leads to changes in consumer behaviours. 
  • New worldviews: climate change, happiness, mental health issues, etc. 
  • Community acknowledgement and promotion. 
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (social issues that started before the pandemic and are ongoing). 
  • Pent-up demand. 
  • Aggressive competition. 
  • Preservation of the destination’s attractiveness. 
  • Canadian and Québec health protectionism—it may return depending on how the pandemic evolves. 

“The main challenges to recovery are resource capacity (human and financial), labour shortage, and extreme management agility (organizational and operational). Being a choice and quality employer that can compete with the private sector is also an issue. The status quo is really not an option! We will need to adapt to a changing global reality and evolve with the destination, its communities and residents,” added Mr. Mercure.  
Four main strategic directions 
After its thought process, DQc identified these four main directions to help it achieve its targets for a tourism that caters to the future: 

  • Grow collaborative leadership 
    This will be possible by implementing business best practices to seize opportunities to do better together. 
  • Stimulate steady traffic in every season and throughout the territory
    This will be possible by stimulating the prosperity of tourism while respecting the community and the destination’s capacity. 
  • Accelerate the shift towards sustainable and responsible tourism
    This will be achieved by becoming one of the best in North America by working with stakeholders, starting now, to protect the quality of the living environment and the destination’s unique assets. 
  • Transform the business intelligence model
    This will be possible by improving the current model and facilitating access to real-time, current and ready-to-use data. 

Lastly, since performance assessment is a key priority, DQc will implement various indicators to help it assess the destination’s performance as well as its own, as an organization, in how it carries out its key mandates. 

Concrete steps taken towards sustainable tourism  
The Québec City region benefits from undeniably unique assets that make it stand out worldwide and that are natural pillars of sustainable tourism. Based on these unyielding characteristics and on countless studies that have shown how vital environmental, social and economic best practices are when travellers choose their destinations, DQc developed a sustainable tourism plan that will shape the Québec City region into a leading reference, if not THE reference, for sustainable tourism in North America.

Our commitments  

  • Support residents’ quality of life. 
  • Help businesses in the Québec City region shift towards sustainable and responsible tourism. 
  • Promote the offer and sustainable tourism actions in the Québec City region. 
  • Make DQc an accountable organization and workplace.  

From words to deeds  

  • Invite visitors to offset their environmental footprint by making a carbon calculator available online. This calculator will also be shared with every tourism business in the Québec City region wishing to provide it to their clients, in partnership with Carbone boréal.
  • Open Québec cité, a sustainable tourism accelerator and incubator, in partnership with MT Lab and Québec NumériQC.
  • Launch a pilot project to offer free public transit to visitors staying two nights or more in participating tourist accommodations in the region to promote sustainable travel once at the destination (in partnership with the AHRQ and the RTC).
  • Distribute bicycle helmets to a few hotels near the RTC’s àVélo rental stations to make it easier for visitors to make use of this sustainable travel initiative.
  • Create Destination jeunesse, an advisory committee of local 12–17-year-old students who will guide and assist the destination in building the tourism of tomorrow.
  • Launch a $500,000 program to help businesses shift to sustainable tourism.   
  • Add a new section focused on sustainable tourism on our destination website.
  • Organize ideation meetings with ambassador residents.
  • Perform a destination diagnostic in partnership with Global Destination Sustainability.
  • Set up a new dedicated email for sustainable tourism to handle all questions and comments from businesses, residents, visitors and others (

Destination Québec’s 2022–2025 strategic plan and sustainable tourism plan are available (in French only) here:

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