Last updated: 06:04 PM ET, Sun May 24 2015

Montreal Allowed 24/7 Store Hours to Attract Tourists

Destination & Tourism | Michael Isenbek | May 24, 2015

Montreal Allowed 24/7 Store Hours to Attract Tourists

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Stores in Montreal’s newly-minted “tourist zones” will be able to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to maximize their tourist revenue, as early as next week, CTV News Montreal reported.

Quebec’s tourism industry is in a bit of a slump. Yan Hamel president of the Quebec Tourism Industry Association told CTV News that Montreal’s home province draws around 900,000 fewer Americans than it did 10 years ago. A $3.13 billion tourism deficit was recorded there in 2012. The current goal of the industry, according to CTV News is a five percent tourist revenue increase every year until 2020, with shopping as a major contributor to that number.

So now that downtown, Ile Notre Dame, Old Montreal, Chinatown, the Quartier Latin, the Village, and Quartier des spectacles are tourist zones, stores there can soon remain perpetually open. It is noted that bars are excluded from this new rule. CTV News said there are about 3,000 stores in downtown Montreal alone that employ about 318,000 people.

Addressing the media on Friday, Mayor Denis Coderre said many merchants were behind the decision. "I think it’s important to create the proper environment for investment, I am there to facilitate the process and accompany the merchants so they can have the tools to work with," he commented.

But a few businesses CTV Montreal interviewed weren’t into staying open 24/7. "I can tell you that our clientele would not be out 24 hours a day," said Ben Owens of the French Connection boutique. "Sales go down pretty regularly in the evening."

The Canadian Press talked to downtown souvenir shop manager Karima Ben Ami, who said, “Just paying employees and the electric bill would be too expensive.”

She commented that lowering taxes, the cost of parking, and the duration of downtown construction projects would be better ideas.

“We’re not New York,” she added. “Just look at all the empty storefronts.”

Therese Taouil, a men’s clothing store employee, was happy in light of the news and felt that customers might like to shop late during the summer.

“We have a lot of tourists here. I say let’s try it,” she told the Canadian Press. “Why not?”

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