Quebec City Tourism hopes to convince as many French tourists as possible to visit the region in the coming years through an increased budget of $1 million.
France is the overseas market that represents the largest part of the Quebec City Tourism (QCT)'s expenditures to attract foreign tourists.
"They are income-generating tourists who also spend a considerable amount of time in Quebec," says Réjean Tarfif, Director of Strategic Knowledge.
A $70,000 study conducted by Léger, an online survey of 6900 people, provides a good understanding of what motivates French tourists to travel.
“Understanding the needs, expectations, reasons for travelling, what motivates them to come? By knowing the reasons that we didn't have before, we will be able to offer and develop marketing adapted to their needs.”
The survey reveals, among other things, that the Quebec City region has everything to please the French. After sunshine destinations, they travel mainly for heritage and history, culture and outdoor activities.
The average stay of a French tourist in the provincial capital is 11.5 nights. The average cost is about $3,000 for a group of 2.4 people.
The survey also shows that Quebec would benefit from being better known by the French. Only 25% of respondents indicated that they were familiar with the province.
This does not prevent 73% of those surveyed from intending to travel to Quebec in the near future. It is this market of millions of potential tourists that QCT wishes to conquer, particularly with increasingly targeted advertising.
The survey results, detailed on more than 150 pages, provide information on the preferences of residents in different regions, according to Eric Bilodeau, Director of Communications and Marketing.
"We know, for example, that the Quebec City region better meets the expectations of people in the Île-de-France region, we even know that some boroughs in Paris are responding better, so it allows us to geotarget certain actions because digital advertising now allows us to do that, target our customers.”
According to the survey, the main weaknesses in the Quebec region are weather, public transit, and air links. If there is not much to do about the weather, it is one more factor for the Structuring Transportation Network and more direct flights to Jean-Lesage Airport.
"It could greatly facilitate an increase in the number of customers from the French market when there is more air accessibility," says Éric Bilodeau.
As a sign of the times, the Quebec City Tourism Office no longer does traditional print advertising to convince the French tourists to visit.
The organization focuses mainly on digital campaigns and increasingly on French influencers, personalities who have a strong popularity rating on social networks.
Among the influencers who recently participated in promotional activities at the invitation of QTC and its partners, Marine Leleu and Will Soleil have nearly 1.5 million YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram subscribers.
"It is mainly in content integration and video production, often with the use of French influencers who come to Quebec City to live the experience, that we now broadcast in the French media," confirms Éric Bilodeau. About 80,000 French tourists visit the Quebec City area each year.