History of Tourisme Montréal

Tourisme Montréal: 100 years of dedication and hard work

On October 8, 1919, the Automobile Club of Canada held its first meeting, which was attended by a dozen tourism stakeholders and the City of Montréal. They founded the Tourist Bureau of Montreal, which would later become the Greater Montréal Convention and Tourism Bureau (GMCTB). The mission of the new organization was to promote Montréal and its road networks, and to enhance the tourist welcome across the city.

Several decades later, Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics gave Montréal new status as an international city that was open to the world. At the time, the GMCTB was focused on the conventions and group travel markets, with tourist information being handled by the new municipal tourism office, created in 1961.

In 1986, the Chairman of the Board of the GMCTB initiated a strategic planning process that led to the unification of these two important tourism bodies.

In 1989, the GMCTB merged with CIDEM-Tourisme (formerly the municipal tourism office). That same year, the City of Montréal launched the Infotouriste Centre in conjunction with the provincial and federal governments. This multifunctional welcome office was managed by the Société d’accueil et de renseignements touristiques de Montréal (SARTM), an paramunicipal agency.

In 1992, the City of Montréal made the GMCTB responsible for the hospitality role previously held by the SARTM. The GMCTB helps promote Montréal’s 350th anniversary

On May 19, 1994, the GMCTB celebrated its 75th anniversary at Marché Bonsecours. To mark the occasion, the organization also presented an exhibition on the history of tourism in Montréal at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal.

In 1995, the GMCTB launched its first website. This marked the organization’s first incursion into new technologies, which would eventually play an essential role in promoting Montréal as a destination.

On April 1, 1997, a $2/night accommodation tax was introduced. Revenues generated from this tax go to the GMCTB to fund its promotional efforts outside Québec.

In 1998, GMCTB members decided to change the organization’s marketing name to “Tourisme Montréal”. They also decided to expand the organization’s mandate beyond traditional promotional and tourist welcome responsibilities to include developing Montréal’s tourism product.

On July 1, 2005, following a request put forward by Tourisme Montréal and approved by key industry players, the ministère du Tourisme du Québec changed the accommodation tax from $2/night to 3% of the cost of an overnight stay. This move secured steady funding for Tourisme Montréal and enabled the organization to increase its promotional efforts to generate additional business opportunities for the city’s tourism industry.

In 2009, Tourisme Montréal celebrated its 90th anniversary.

In 2010, when the Grand Prix F1 du Canada was reinstated, the accommodation tax was increased to 3.5%.

In 2017, Tourisme Montréal played an active and leading role in Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. That year, the city recorded its highest tourism numbers in 50 years.

In early 2018, Tourisme Montréal adopted its 2018-2022 strategic orientations, which redefined the organization’s role and actions on its key tourism markets and within the community. In 2018, on the eve of its 100th anniversary, the organization is proud to say that it has successfully risen to various challenges in tourism industry—including market trends, new technologies, organizational changes and community needs—and now has the support of more than 800 members and partners.

Today, Tourisme Montréal brings together more than 800 members and partners. The organization’s over 85 employees share a common passion: to position Montréal as a leading international-calibre destination on the leisure tourism and business travel markets. Their goal is to rally all tourism industry stakeholders and maximize the benefits of tourism across the city.