Satisfied customers of the $500 airline ticket program

For Charlotte Lefebvre, former resident of the village of Tête-à-la-Baleine, in the Lower North Shore, there is reason to rejoice in being able to return to her village at a fraction of the usual price. She says that, generally, for a Quebec–Tête-à-la-Baleine round trip, the price of a ticket can go up to $2,000.

That the price was $500 for the round trip, we couldn’t believe it, it was too good to be true. Finally, when I got a ticket snapping my fingers, I was really happyshe says.

This is a relief Charlotte Lefebvre who should have taken the ship Bella Desgagnés to reach her native village. I should have taken the train from Quebec to Rimouski and then taken the boat on August 4 and arrived three days later, August 7, at Tête-à-la-Baleine. It is more expensive than the plane ticket and it is especially much longersays Ms. Lefebvre.

The trip aboard the Bella Desgagnés, to get to Tête-à-la-Baleine, can cost between $650 and $1,000 according to Charlotte Lefebvre (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marc-Antoine Mageau

Time saving

Catherine-Mélina Bisaillon, who also bought tickets, shares Charlotte Lefebvre’s opinion: flying saves time. Ms. Bisaillon will take the plane from Bonaventure this summer to return home to Montreal.

She says that if these tickets had not been offered, she might not have made the trip or would have had to take the bus. The Bonaventure–Montréal trip takes an average of 9 hours by car. It’s really longer, it cuts the trip, you can’t stay as long as you want. I will have wasted a lot of timeadds the young woman.

The two travelers agree on another point, to succeed in obtaining $500 tickets, you have to plan your travels and do business directly with the carriers.

The tourism industry

The PQ MP for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau, believes, however, that the program clogs up certain regional communities with an increase unsustainable tourist traffic. He explains that the supply of services to visitors to the islands is practically already saturated.

The MP for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine for the Parti Québécois, Joël Arseneau, is calling for changes to the $500 plane ticket program (archive).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

Most people, including those in the tourism industry, will tell you that these are not the kinds of programs we needed to stimulate traffic during the tourist season, when it is already difficult to meet Requirement »

A quote from Joël Arseneau, MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine for the Parti Québécois

Too many people, too fast, that’s what the co-owner of Club Voyage Les Îles Monique Bourque believes. The Islands were not ready to have such a large number of people. We love tourists provided we are able to receive them wellspecifies the co-owner.

According to Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine, approximately 60,000 tourists visit the archipelago each year (archive).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

The increase in tourists to the Magdalen Islands also causes some problems for permanent residents. Joël Arseneau indicates that some people who have to leave the island to go outside, among other things for medical reasons, have difficulty finding a flight for their destination.

He wants changes to be made to the program. It’s misrepresentation, it’s not a program for the regions. This is a program for people from major centers who want to visit the rest of Quebec. This is not the program we wantedconcludes the deputy.

With information from Camille Lacroix and Lambert Gagné-Coulombe

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