NEWS

Nautical activities are booming in Quebec

Boating and water sports are booming in Quebec and in Canada, according to a new statistical abstract conduct by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) with data obtains by Statistics Canada and Transport Canada. This abstract was revealed today at the opening of the Boat and Water Sports Show by the Quebec Marine Association (QMA) and the NMMA.

The abstract revealed that approximately 10.5 million Canadian adults went boating at least once during 2011 (38% of the population). This represents an increase of 4 million over an earlier study conducted in 2006 by Genesis Research. In Quebec, 40% of adults went boating last year, which translates to nearly 2.6 million boaters. The province also accounted for 20% of personal watercraft and outboard boats sold in Canada. In addition, 20% of Quebecers are planning to buy a boat in the future.

"Nautical activities in Quebec represent an economic impact of $5.8 billion, 25% of which comes from tourism activities, says Yves Paquette, head of the Quebec Marine Association. With almost half a million lakes in Quebec, the St-Lawrence River - which is one to the 25 biggest rivers in the world, a great marine trail, many boating routes and an exceptional nature, it is normal that nautical activities are so popular among citizens. Moreover, it is very accessible even for small budget".

Quebecers are avid thrill seekers

Fun fact: Quebec has the largest number of wakeboarding and water skiing fans in the country. In 2011, the province accounted for 32% of the market followed by Alberta with 22%, British Columbia with 16% and Ontario with 15%. "These numbers are surprising", says Paquette, "especially since Ontario is the province with the highest number of boaters in the country and has a very well developed infrastructure".

Mass participation

The enthusiasm of Quebecers for water sports is not limited only to individual boating. People are getting involved en masse. For example, a considerable number of day camps and summer camps introducing children to sailing have recently emerged. Teens can now enroll in a sport-study sailing program. Also a variety of marine shows such as Transat Quebec-St Malo and the open doors of Marinas have been created. In addition, programs such as Quebec Nautical Stations (by QMA) have developed to better promote boating destinations in the province and to make them more accessible to citizens.

The Parks Canada Agency administers nine historic canals including five in Quebec (Lachine, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Chambly, Saint-Ours, and Carillon) and promotes boating destinations by focusing on the activities offered at canals. "Recognized for their national historic significance, these exceptional sites are attractions in themselves for boaters and all those who appreciate the natural beauty and rich heritage of our surroundings," said Luc-André Mercier, Acting Director of Parks Canada for western Quebec.

About the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show

The 13th edition of the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show will take place at Place Bonaventure from February 9th to 12th. It is the largest show of its kind in Quebec with more than 400 boats and 200 exhibitors. It has annually attracted about 30 000 visitors. In collaboration with Parks Canada, the Boat Show offers places to relax with opportunities to learn about our country’s vast network of national parks and historic sites.

About Quebec Marine Association (QMA)

Founded in 1996, the QMA represents both the pleasure boating industry and individual boaters. It offers services to meet the specific needs of each of these segments. The QMA focuses on the advancement of pleasure boating and water sports, the development of a marina network infrastructure, boating, tourism, environmental protection and boating safety programs. The revenues generated by the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show are used to fund projects such as marina classification programs and eco-marinas, Quebec’s nautical station program, and the national and regional Discover Boating program.

About the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)

NMMA is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle.

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