Consumer travel publications are gushing over Montreal as one of the top places to visit in 2017, as a favorable U.S. dollar exchange rate combines with a year-long celebration of the city’s 375th birthday.
The official celebration is May 17, but the city will be hosting more than 175 events, on, before and after its birthday, including light displays, rodeos and history performances that are certain to entertain and educate inbound travelers. Some experts are estimating double-digit increases this year.
For example, from Aug. 24-27, the city’s old port will host its first NomadFest Urban Rodeo, including four rodeos in a 5,000-seat arena, to highlight the country flavor of Canada.
Earlier this year, travelers in New York City and Toronto were seeing 15-second Facebook video ads starring a tongue-in-cheek William Shatner saying he’s “sorry” for the fun he and others will have in Montreal this year as part of the birthday festivities.
Shatner talked about the variety of restaurants, festivals and nightlife, for example, that Montreal.
There was a 10% increase in U.S. visits in 2016, said Tourisme Montreal, in part due to Montreal more aggressively marketing itself.
"We're seeing the benefits of our ongoing promotional initiatives. The city is getting a lot of buzz and has become a choice tourist destination. So, we're seizing this opportunity to get our message across: Rediscover Montréal in 2017! The spinoff benefits of this visibility are expected to last beyond 2017 and for years to come," said Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.
Currently, travelers can find relative bargains through the spring time, though it isn’t certain how long discounts will last as the weather gets warmer and more Americans come north to celebrate.
Through April, many hotels, like Hotel 10 and Hotel Le Crystal, are offering discounted room rates and 50% off second nights.
According to Tourisme Montreal, Americans spent $432 per day in Montreal last year, with most U.S. travelers coming from the northeast. Ontario and Toronto residents are also being targeted by the city this year.
Montreal will gain a significant traveler advantage in May when it opens up a new $78 million cruise terminal at Alexandra Pier. The terminal will be able to dock two ships simultaneously and will have a 300-foot observation tower. Cruise lines have been announcing increased sailings for the peak season.
Montreal's new cruise terminal opening this year.
If you’re heading north, please stop by TMR’s Travel Marketplace, a unique peer-to-peer learning experience in Toronto June 13-14, and meet our reporters and editors! Click here for more information.