Montreal hotels losing a lot of money

Published on : Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Montreal hotels said that even though they never closed their doors during the pandemic, they’re still losing a lot of money — and many of them might close if the government doesn’t lend their helping hand.

“We are driving our business on credit cards,” said Marc Saunier, who manages Hotel Monville in downtown Montreal.
Saunier said that business has been slow throughout the Omicron wave. Of the hotel’s 270 rooms, an average of just 30 is booked every day, with continuing cancelations.

“We lost all of the business we had on our books until the end of April,” he said.

40 per cent of Quebec hotels lost more than $100,000 in the last month.

Sauniersaid that the government isn’t doing enough to assist the hospitality sector.

“Taxes [are] coming in March — the city tax — and nobody has the money to pay for it,” said Jean-SebastienBoudreault, CEO of the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal (AHGM).

Besides financial help, hotels want the government to come up with an action plan to bring tourists back.
“We have international conferences coming in April and May and June and July. We want them to be reassured that they can come and be in Montreal,” said Boudreault.

Hotels opine that tourists are avoiding Montreal because the restaurants are closed for indoor dining — these restaurants are also desperate to seek help.

The owners of Le Sh Moonshine BBQ in St-Henri said that even with a renewed importance on takeout, business is down around 70 per cent.

A spokesperson for the tourism minister said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has allocated $1.2 billion to support the tourism industry; however, at this stage, safety must be kept on top when it comes to reopening of businesses.

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