Abitibi-Témiscamingue continues to enjoy great snowmobiling seasons

22 April 2009

Though we really look forward to milder temperatures and to see the snow go, we find the timing perfect to yield a profile of the 2008-2009 snowmobile tourism season. Snowmobiling represents a very important segment of our regional economy. Fifty years after the invention of the snowmobile, the interest for this sport continues to grow. Given the extended efforts devoted at promoting snowmobiling tourism, our observations are very gratifying. Abitibi-Témiscamingue was the only snowmobiling region to post an occupancy rate superior to 50% in hotel accommodations in February 2009. The other three regions of Quebec that reported comparable occupancy rates are Laval, Montreal and Quebec. The hotel establishments of Abitibi-Témiscamingue have very good reasons to cheer! Also the recognized quality of our trails and hospitable reception of our guests keep on generating the interest of specialized information channels. Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue welcomed an unprecedented number of journalists during the winter season. Mike Grant (Snow Trails TV), Larry Gidley (Ohio State Snowmobiler Magazine), Bob Island (American Snowmobiler) and John Arkwright (Supertrax International) have in turn fallen for our trails, thus bringing a significant increase in media coverage outside our frontiers. On the heels of those stimulating results, the membership of Abitibi-Témiscamingue's snowmobile clubs have risen 5 to 30 percent. The sale figures of trail access rights by Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue on behalf Association des clubs de motoneigistes de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue were reported 25 % higher than last year, thanks to the creation of a new point of sale strategically located at the Ontario/Quebec frontier: Thorne Island. The number of Ontario tourists who purchased access rights this year was up 30 %. That should keep us optimistic until the snow flurries return…

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