Summer 2023 review in the Outaouais: A good tourism season despite the weather challenges

News Release
For immediate release


Outaouais, September 18, 2023 — According to the member survey conducted by Outaouais Tourism, the region's tourism businesses gave their 2023 summer season a positive assessment, albeit less glowing than for summer 2022. More specifically, 43% of respondents described their summer season as very good to exceptional, 37% described it as good, and 20% said it was average or disappointing.

"Overall, tourism businesses had a good summer season, particularly in sectors such as accommodation, festivals and museums. Outdoor businesses, however, saw their season negatively affected by the weather. Still,the results are showing that with its diverse and accessible offer, the Outaouais region continues to shine.”

– Julie Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer, Outaouais Tourism


  • 48% of respondents reported visitor numbers greater than or about the same as those for summer 2022.
  • 49% of respondents said that the poor weather conditions in summer 2023 contributed to the decline in visitor numbers.

"Businesses that saw a bigger drop in visitor numbers in summer 2023 generally attribute it to wildfires, the poor weather, the upswing in outbound international travel and the uncertainty surrounding inflation."

– Julie Kinnear, CEO, Outaouais Tourism

Provenance of our visitors

While the growing popularity of international travel is prompting some people to vacation outside Quebec, we are also seeing a healthy number of international tourists in the Outaouais, with almost 75% of survey respondents reporting that they had welcomed international visitors this summer, most of them from France, the United States and Germany. This is consistent with the statistics collected at La maison du tourisme reception desk.

Accommodation in the Outaouais

In summer 2023, the average occupancy rate* in the Outaouais was 68.3%, a difference of +2.4% compared with 2022, +22.8% compared with 2021 and +39.7% compared with 2020. The hotel sector is thus approaching the pre-pandemic occupancy rate of 71.4% for the same period. The situation in the Outaouais is very similar to that in the rest of Quebec, where the provincial average occupancy rate this summer was 67.3%.

* Data for May–July from the Ministry of Tourism website (content in French only).

"We have noticed a few changes in tourist habits this year. The length of stays seems to have increased, and visitors are tending to book nights other than Friday and Saturday.”

– Julie Kinnear, CEO, Outaouais Tourism

Fall 2023: what's ahead?

The survey respondents seem optimistic about autumn 2023: nearly 70% of them expect to have a good, very good or exceptional fall season.

To support the region's tourism businesses, Outaouais Tourism continues to implement funding programs. In particular, the call for projects for the 2023 Outaouais Region Tourism Development Program (ORDTP) is being launched today. This program reflects the shared resolve of the Ministry of Tourism (MTO) and Outaouais Tourism to join forces with local partners and businesses to implement projects that support the development of the regional tourism offer in accordance with the destination's development priorities. Eligible businesses have until October 23, 2023 to submit their applications.

Les données du sondage de Tourisme Outaouais proviennent de la période comprise entre la mi-juin et la fin de la longue fin de semaine de septembre 2023.

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About Outaouais Tourism
Outaouais Tourism is a private, not-for-profit organization created by and for the tourism industry over 40 years ago. A preferred contact and partner of the Quebec government in the tourism field, Outaouais Tourism contributes to the region’s economic development by coordinating regional tourism plans and projects, visitor services, information, promotion, marketing and development.

For information:
Alice Charbonneau-Bernier
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Cell. : 819 576-3185