History of Tourisme Montréal
- Founded in 1919 by the Automobile Club of Canada, the Tourist Bureau of Montréal, as it was then called, counted seven members, whose goal was to promote the city and its road networks.
- Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics gave Montréal new status as an international city, open to the world. The tourist bureau turned its efforts to soliciting and coordinating conferences and group travel, while the new municipal tourism office, created in 1961, handled other promotional efforts.
- In 1986, the Chairman of the Board initiated a strategic planning process that led to the unification of these two bodies.
- In 1989, the organization that would eventually become Tourisme Montréal merged with CIDEM-tourisme, then the municipal tourism office. That same year, in conjunction with the provincial and federal governments, the City of Montréal launched the Infotouriste Centre, a multifunctional welcome office managed, at the paramunicipal level, by the Société d’accueil et de renseignements touristiques de Montréal (SARTM).
- In 1992, the City of Montréal made Tourisme Montréal responsible for the hospitality role previously held by the SARTM.
- On May 19, 1994, Tourisme Montréal celebrated its 75th anniversary in high style with an evening celebration at the Marché Bonsecours. To mark the occasion, the organization also commissioned an exhibit on the history of tourism in Montréal at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal.
- The launch of a first Web site in 1995 propelled Tourisme Montréal into a new information age, revolutionizing the organization’s approach to promoting the city as a premier tourism destination.
- April 1, 1997, saw the introduction of the accommodation tax, a $2-a-night levy in area hotels, inns, etc. Proceeds would go to Tourisme Montréal to fund its promotional efforts outside of Québec.
- During the annual general meeting in 1998, GMCTB members decided to change the organization’s marketing name to Tourisme Montréal (retaining, however, the Greater Montréal Convention and Tourism Bureau as the legal name of the corporation). The same meeting also resulted in expanding the organization’s mandate to include a leadership role in developing the Montréal brand.
- On July 1, 2005, a joint request put forward by President of the Board, Mr. Jacques Parisien, and President and CEO, Mr. Charles Lapointe—and supported by key industry players—to change the accommodation tax from $2 a night to 3% of the cost of an overnight stay was granted by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec.
This new measure secured steady funding for Tourisme Montréal, which has since increased its promotional efforts, generating considerable economic spin-offs for the entire Montréal region.
In 2009, Tourisme Montréal celebrated its 90th anniversary. Over the years, the organization has had to adapt to difficult situations, but has risen to each new challenge, whether created by changing socio-economic factors or the emergence of new markets. Solidly backed by its 750 members and partners, not to mention the passion and experience of its team, Tourisme Montréal has emerged as an incontestable leader in promoting Montréal as a premier business and leisure travel destination.