Business tourism: Lac-Saint-Jean on a soaring hillside

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The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of many hotel businesses looking to adapt to the new needs of their customers. (Photo: 123RF)

A text from Jean Tremblay

REGIONAL FOCUS. Recent sanitary restrictions and what’s to come indicate a strong return of business tourists in Lac-Saint-Jean.

As Michael Sheehy, business tourism consultant at the Lac-Saint-Jean Convention Bureau (BCLSJ), quickly reminded us, “Business tourism has slowed down a lot due to the pandemic. It was the first sector to be shut down due to measures to prevent large gatherings.”

Never mind, he argues, we can already see signs of the resurgence of business tourism in Lac-Saint-Jean. It specifically mentions the eclipse of 8.and 1 edition of the Tourism Games in Cégep de Saint-Félicienprivate until April 3rd.

attract customers

At the same time, BCLSJ continued to search more intensively to attract commercial customers to Lac-Saint-Jean. “We are starting provincial activities again. We’re going to redo the living rooms. We will participate in scholarships in Quebec and Montreal. We would like to rent a terrace at the Montreal Olympic Stadium to negotiate with sports federations. We’re starting to get more aggressive again!”

In addition, the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of many hotel businesses looking to adapt to the new needs of their customers.

In April 2021, many tourism businesses, particularly in the hotel industry, announced a total investment of $10 million to modernize their facilities.

These investments also provided the purchase of audio-visual equipment to facilitate remote meetings, as well as the construction and equipping of facilities to host business tourists.

According to Michaël Sheehy, corporate clients represent around 50% of hotel traffic in the region, with the other half coming from leisure tourism.

In Lac-Saint-Jean, sports tourism accounts for approximately 50% of a subcategory, business tourism. “Here, an event like the Dodge Cup is what makes all the difference between financial losses or profitability for our hotels.”

In this sense, Michaël Sheehy states that the BCLSJ wants to implement new strategies to increase the flow of business tourists other than athletes.

This will mainly involve encouraging the holding of more corporate events such as congresses, “lacs-à-l’oreille”, symposia, conferences or training activities for professional orders.

Develop your strengths

Because each region of Quebec is different, it is convenient for each to take advantage of their own attractions to attract business tourists.

When it comes to Lac-Saint-Jean, it especially relies on its resort offerings and the beauty of its landscapes.

“If we have an event that takes place only in a hotel and the programming doesn’t allow us to enjoy the outdoors, Lac-Saint-Jean doesn’t stand out. But if we can have para-convention events like at Zoo Sauvage in Saint-Félicien or Val-Jalbert, it definitely helps us stand out from the other regions. You must see the lake when you come here! It is not for nothing that leisure tourism is very strong in the region, so we hope to see the same enthusiasm from business customers,” says Michaël Sheehy.

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