L’Isle-aux-Coudres merchants say bad press linked to last winter’s ferry problems continues to unnerve visitors, causing traffic to drop by about 30% at the start of the tourist season.
The start of the summer season is more difficult for the many merchants of Isle-aux-Coudres, who are discouraged from daily ‘undoing’ the ferries’ bad reputation with their customers. Since May 30, the situation has returned to normal and two ferries are operating.
In contrast to previous years, dealers claim to have started the summer season in a “slow motion”.
“The world is still calling to see if he can get through,” expresses Noel-Ange Harvey, owner of Bouchard Bakery.
The showrunner is Auberge La Fascine, singer Geneviève Jodoin voice In 2019, she also claims to have felt the fallout.
Remember that potential visitors are afraid to go to the island for fear that they will not be able to leave.
“I really see the difference [par rapport aux années antérieures]. This is the toughest year in terms of bookings and ticket sales for shows,” M.I Jodoin, has been working in Isle-aux-Coudres for 10 years now.
“everything is right”
However, no major breakages or delays have been reported in recent weeks. The ferry service runs well and the two ships cross every half hour, from Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive to L’Isle-aux-Coudres.
Mayor Christian Dufour confirms that the crossings carried out Felix Antoine Savard and norwegian Svanoy, is now “liquid”. “Everything works great,” he says, “everything is fine.”
“We must announce with great fanfare that everything is back to normal!” Éric Desgagnés, co-owner of Cidrerie and Vergers Pedneault, also launched Corylus Restaurant.
Mr. Dufour also noted that the month-long sea trials had begun for the ferry Joseph Savardwhich was originally set to return to L’Isle-aux-Coudres in June 2022.
This is one of the final steps of his nearly three-year-old promotion, which today has a budget of $43.3 million.
The Société des traversiers du Québec also gave $65,000 to Tourisme L’Isle-aux-Coudres to “promote the start of the tourist season”. Of that sum, $15,000 was earmarked for an advertising campaign promoting the return of the two-ship ferry service, three weeks earlier than planned, since June 8.
After all, “the damage is already done,” traders told us, now worried about the potential economic fallout from the summer season.
“If people are not there, we will never be able to replace the losses we had this winter. [en raison des problèmes de transport]M concerns.I Goodwin.
The arrival of the Europeans
Fortunately, the imminent arrival of European tourists in Quebec should help improve their sales, they point out.
“They haven’t heard much about ferry problems themselves!” says Mr Desgagnés.
“People still think there is no boat to come to the island,” Eric Desjanis, co-owner of Cidrerie and Vergers Pedneault, as well as Corylus Restaurant.
People have heard that there are problems six months ago, and they will not come. Suddenly, there is a problem. But the island is just as welcoming—I use the ferry a few times a week and all is well, no problem,” Genevieve Goodwin, owner of Auberge La Vasine.
“These things worry me [les répercussions des problèmes de traversiers auprès des touristes] », Noel Angie Harvey, Owner of Boulangerie Bouchard.
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