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Saturday, 19 August 2006


Jacques Cartier, left, discover of Québec and founder of Paris jewelry firm

Québec Discovers Cartier

19 August 2006
To: Le Soleil

To the Editor:--
The announced closing of La Corriveau may or may not be eventually attributed to a tourism slowdown. Time -- and statistics -- will tell. A strong US dollar will be the usual suspect. But with due respect to La Corriveau -- its closing will be no great loss in the larger scheme of things, especially in a city that's already wall--to-wall with gift shops.

Quebec needs to play to her strengths. Fine dining, its historical patrimony, and its cultural marvels. (The Musee National Des Beaux-Arts du Quebec is a true Canadian gem). But the city also can't become complascent.

As anyone in the hospitality industry knows, on-site needs of travellers are always changing. Unfortunately, Quebec hasn't always kept up with industry trends. Greater variety and access to quality shopping, such as that in the lower city, must be expanded.

At a time when travellers are seeking more up-market amenities, the city can do more to meet this need. Quebec needs to focus not only on attracting more tourists, but on attracting more affluent visitors. In that well-heeled tourist market, the name Cartier has a double meaning. And the shifting value of the US dollar -- a penny here, a penny there -- has less.

-- Richard Carreño