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More Quebecers on European getaways, Gaspesie top local destination: survey


The annual construction holiday kicks off this Sunday and runs until Aug. 5. This summer, more Quebecers will be travelling to Europe, even though the majority will be vacationing in the province, according to a survey conducted by CAA-Quebec.

Quebec's construction commission reports nearly 80 per cent of workers and employers in the construction industry will be on vacation during this period. Most construction sites will also suspend their activities.

According to a CAA-Quebec survey on Quebecers' vacation intentions, 28 per cent will take a break from work during the construction holiday. New this year: more people will be travelling to Europe.

In 2022, 65 per cent of vacationers planned to spend their free time in Quebec, compared with 57 per cent this year.

"This is simply because European destinations are back in popularity this year. Also, the proportion of travellers who will travel by air has also increased. It was 15 per cent in 2022, rising to 22 per cent this year," explains David Marcille, communications advisor at CAA-Quebec.

While 9 per cent of survey respondents planned to vacation in the U.S., 16 per cent anticipated going to a country other than Canada and the U.S., which is an increase compared to 2022. Of this 16 per cent, 9 per cent were planning to go to Europe.


"Then the third year when people might have wanted to go back, there was the conflict in Ukraine which happened just as people were booking, so it still put a big chill on travellers going to Europe. But they're picking up again this year," says David Marcille.

The most popular regions for vacationers staying in Quebec are Gaspésie, followed by Quebec City, then the Eastern Townships and Charlevoix, which are tied, and the Lower St. Lawrence.Northern gannets dive for fish near Perce Rock just after sunrise in Perce, Quebec, Canada, on Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A number of climatic events have, however, left their mark on the province in recent months, for example, the flooding in the Charlevoix region this spring.

"We certainly felt the after-effects of the floods in the few weeks following May. We felt, especially in Baie-Saint-Paul, that things were pretty slow," says Mitchell Dion, general manager of Tourisme Charlevoix.


The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is reminding the public to be cautious on the roads during the construction holiday. The police force "will intensify its interventions from July 21 to August 6," it announced in a press release.

Police officers will be more present on roads, trails and bodies of water.

"The construction vacation period represents a time of year when the number of collisions causing fatalities and injury is particularly high. In 2022, during the same period, 12 people lost their lives in 11 fatal collisions on the road network," the SQ stated in the same release.

CAA-Quebec also points out that the period between Quebec's Fête nationale and Labour Day represents the 75 deadliest days of the year on Quebec roads, and therefore urges drivers to be cautious.

"According to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec's (SAAQ) 2022 road report, 116 people lost their lives (in) fatal collisions between Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and Labour Day. This represents almost a third of all fatalities for a full year," said CAA-Quebec in its press release.

This report was written with the financial assistance of the Meta Bourse and The Canadian Press for news.

This report was first published in French by The Canadian Press on July 21, 2023. Top Stories

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