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Vous êtes un voyageur et avez envie de partir à la découverte des régions touristiques éloignées du Québec en profitant d'un rabais aérien substentiel ? 

Cliquez ici 

Notez qu'actuellement, seulement quelques forfaits sur les Îles de la Madeleine et Anticosti sont disponibles avec des réductions aériennes. Dès que la situation sanitaire et le déconfinement régional le permettra, de nouveaux forfaits seront disponibles. L'achat du forfait se fait directement auprès de l'agence participante et les Québécois pourront toujours suggérer à une des des agences du programme Explore Québec de lui créer son forfait de rêve au Québec. 


Vous êtes un fournisseur (restaurant, hébergement, attraction, transport...) et aimeriez faire partie des forfaits Explore Québec ? 

Consultez les agences participantes au bas de cette page. 


Vous n'avez jamais travaillé avec le réseau de distribution (agences de voyage, voyagistes et agences réceptives) et aimeriez faire partie d'un forfait Explore Québec ? 

Pour apprendre comment travailler avec le réseau, cliquez ici


Vous êtes une agence et aimeriez soumettre des forfaits dans le cadre du programme Explore Québec sur la route ? 

Poursuivez votre lecture


Sachez que le programme Explore Québec est maintenant disponible en aérien et sur la route.
Pour tous les détails des deux programmes, veuillez cliquer sur les liens ci-haut. 

Four calls for proposals will be held per year, in February, May, July and September. 

First call for proposals: any interested agencies will have from January 20 until February 28, 2020, at 5 p.m., to submit a competitively priced package proposal. The selected packages will be offered to consumers at a reduced rate through an Explore Québec grant in an effort to increase sales.

Access to affordable air travel is a major issue in Québec and one of the biggest challenges for the tourism industry. Because of this, the Ministère du Tourisme is establishing a program that will make it easier for tourists to visit Québec's remote tourist regions by promoting competitively priced travel packages. In doing so, it hopesto increase tourism in the targeted regions and surrounding areas.

The Explore Québec program offers tourists a rdiscount of 25% to 50% on the cost of airfare to any destination in a remote region of Québec when purchased as apackage deal from selected Québec travel agencies, tour operators and receptiveagencies.

The Ministère du Tourisme has entrustedthe management of Explore Québec to the Receptive Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Association of Québec (ARF-Québec), its privileged partner for the developting and marketing travel packages in Québec.

Introduce Québec to more tourists from outside of Québecby offering discounted travel packages in collaboration with regional and national economic organizations. The Program also aims to increase tourist spending in the targeted regions and surrounding areas.​​​​​​

More precisely, the Program’s objectives are to:

  • Increase demand in response to a good offer.
  • Promote lower airfares to certain targeted regions.
  • Help extend the tourist season in regions with high seasonality.

While also encouraging agencies to offer discounted travel packagesto remote regions.

The program will endon March 31, 2023, or when the available budget has been exhausted, whichever comes first.

Eligible agencies

  • Travel agencies;
  • Tour operators;
  • Receptiveagencies that holda licence from the Office de la protection du consommateur;

Agencies holding a restricted licence from the Office de la protection du consommateur are not eligible.

Eligible agencies may form a partnership and submit a joint application.

Agencies with experience in the region coveredby the package or that have already offered a familiarization tour in the saidregionwill be prioritized..

Eligibility in and of itself does not  guarantee funding forthe agency or any obligation on the part of ARF-Québec or the Ministère du Tourisme.

Non-eligible agencies

  • Municipal entities;
  • Crown corporations;
  • Québec government departments and agencies;
  •  Government of Canada departments and agencies.

Eligible projects

Packages aimed at marketing one of the following tourism regions:

  • Gaspésie;
  • Bas-Saint-Laurent;
  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine;
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean;
  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue;
  • Côte-Nord (Duplessis and Manicouagan);
  • Eeyou Istchee James Bay;
  • Nunavik.

The packages must:

  • include air  travelto the tourism region covered byby the package; 
  • include a minimum two-nights’ stay in the tourism region  coveredby the package;
  • include at least two flagship attractions in the region coveredby the package, that align with one of the experiences highlighted by  the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec:
    • Life of the St. Lawrence River,
    • Local flavours,
    • Vibrant cities and festivals,
    • Living culture and history,
    • Outdoor adventures,
    • Winter fun,
    • Discovery roads,
    • Hunting and fishing; 
  • Allow Québec to be explored year-round by extendingthe peak season for regions with high seasonality. The dates of stay in the following regions:Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, must exclude July and August. However, some packages meeting very specific needs may constitute an exception and be accepted by the selection committee during this  period of high seasonality. There is no restriction on the dates of stay in any other regions.
  • A package that combines either Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Îles-de-la-Madeleineor Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean with any of the other 4 regions would have no restrictions on the dates of stay.
  • Beintended for independent travellers and groups based on  regionalrealities  and the maturity level of the travellers;
  • Be marketed by the agency;
  • Include commercial flights rather than chartered flights, whenever possible. Proof of purchase of air service is required.
  • Tous les fournisseurs doivent respecter les consignes et directives sanitaires édictées par la Direction générale de la santé publique dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19 et tous les fournisseurs présents dans vos forfaits doivent être ouverts et doivent offrir les même prestations que celles vendues.

    À cet effet, nous vous conseillons de contacter directement vos fournisseurs afin de vérifier ces aspects et ainsi, les aviser de leur présence dans vos forfaits, Ils sont également autorisés à afficher sur leurs plateformes le logo d’Explore Québec pour démontrer leur participation au programme Explore Québec. Pour télécharger le logo, cliquez ici

    Notez que les Associations touristiques régionales peuvent également vous guider quant aux ouvertures de chacun des fournisseurs.

    Vous devez nous confirmer que tous vos fournisseurs respectent ces conditions. 
    Vous devez nous encoyer votre plan de mesures sanitaires et votre engagement à se conformer de l'employeur 


    Nous vous conseillons également d'ajouter ce texte  sur votre site Internet : 

    « Notre agence s’est engagée à respecter et faire respecter toutes les mesures et consignes émises par l’Institut national de la santé publique du Québec, lesquelles sont intégrées à notre plan d’intervention face à la Covid-19. Les prestataires de services utilisés dans les forfaits Explore Québec ont aussi signé cet engagement à se conformer aux mesures sanitaires. Il est de notre responsabilité de s’assurer que les prestataires de services soient ouverts au moment du voyage du client. L’agence se réserve le droit de modifier les forfaits advenant la fermeture ou la non réouverture de prestataires inclus initialement, en proposant aux clients des solutions équivalentes. »

     
  • Tous les fournisseurs d’activités de nature ou d’aventure doivent détenir le sceau « Accrédité Qualité Sécurité » d’Aventure Écotourisme Québec ou être en démarche pour l’obtenir.

    Vous devez nous confirmer que tous vos fournisseurs respectent ces conditions. 

Packages that include the following criteriawill be prioritized as a showcase product

  • showcase the flagship products and unique experiences in the targeted regions that stand out from other regions;
  • be customizable, giving customers the option to add additional nights or activities; 
  • promote the development of tourism services;
  • offer longer says;
  • constitute a new package;
  • reach the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec’starget markets outside of Québec in addition to other markets with high potential depending on targeted niches or seasons..
  • Showcase products are travelpackages that will have greater visibility in any marketing campaigns launched by the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec and the regional tourism associations.

Submitting an application

  • Agencies hoping to obtain financial assistance must submit a formal application by completing the required forms and providing the required supporting documents.
  • ARF-Québec will confirm the eligibility of the agency.
  • The agency will receive an acknowledgement of receipt within ten business days of submitting their application.
  • ARF-Québec accepts applications for financial assistance four times a year.
     

For 2020:

    • 1st call for proposals: from January 20 to February 28, 2020;
    • 2nd call for proposals: May 2020; 
    • 3rd call for proposals: July 2020; 
    • 4th call for proposals: September 2020.;

The agency cansubmit a package proposal for eitherthe current or followingyear.

 

Application evaluation

The projects will be evaluated using a grading scale(available for download at the bottom of this page). 

A selection committee, along with a representative from the targeted Association touristique régionale will evaluate the projects based on the established criteria. The selection committee will include a representative from both the Ministère du Tourisme and, the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec, as well as the Explore Québec program manager from ARF-Québec.

Application process stages:

  • Program manager receives the packages (by February 28, 2020, at the latest)
  • Program managerevaluates the packages (between March 9-13, 2020)
  • Packages are submitted to the appropriateAssociation Touristique Régionales (ATR) for comment (between March 13-20, 2020)
  • Packages are evaluated by the selection committee (between March 23-27, 2020)
  • Selected packages are validated by the selection committee (March 27)

Letters are signed by the Ministère du Tourisme (between March 30 and April 10, 2020)

Only complete applications will be evaluated.

 

Promotion

Promotion must be done by the agency itself. However, the Association Touristique régionale (ATR) and the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec (Alliance) in collaboration with ARF-Québec and the Ministère du Tourisme (MTO) will be involved with marketing any “showcase” travel packages.

  • Promotion of the Explore Québec program: ARF-Québec and MTO;
  • Promotion of travel packages within Québec: ATR, the selected agency and ARF-Québec (collaboration);
  • Promotion of travel packages outside of Québec: Alliance, ATR, the selected agency and ARF-Québec (collaboration).

 

Application approval

The financial assistance granted will be subject to an agreement between ARF-Québec and the agency. It will specify the description of the project, the aid granted, the payment terms for this assistance, and the supporting documents that must be provided.

 

Financial assistance

The financial assistance that is being offered is in the form of a grant. 

Taking into account the operating procedures of the program, the stacking of government assistance does not apply.

The financial assistance granted to the agency will be used in its entirety to sell the proposed package at a reduced rate.

In the first year, the financial assistance granted for each package sold with domestic flights withinQuébec will be approximately 50% of the average airfare for each region, and will be a fixed amount depending on the tourist regioncovered by the package, see the costbreakdown below:

  • Gaspésie: $250;
  • Bas-Saint-Laurent: $250;
  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine: $250;
  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue: $250;
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: $250;
  • Côte-Nord:  
    • Duplessis:  $750  (Sept-Îles: $250);
    • Manicouagan: $250;
  • Eeyou Istchee James Bay: $550;
  • Nunavik: $1,200

In the first year, the financial assistance granted for each package sold with flights from outside of Québec will be approximately 25% of the average airfare for each region, and will be a fixed amount depending on the tourist regioncovered by the package, see the costbreakdown below:

  • Gaspésie: $125;
  • Bas-Saint-Laurent: $125
  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine: $125;
  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue: $125;
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: $125;
  • Côte-Nord:
    • Duplessis: $375  (Sept-Îles: $125);.
    • Manicouagan: $125;
  • Eeyou Istchee James Bay: $275;
  • Nunavik: $6 000.

If necessary, the amount established for each region may be adjusted by the Management Committee.

A package including a one-way trip to a region and a return trip from a different region will be awarded half of the financial assistance provided for each covered region . The amount granted will then correspond to the sum of these two amounts.  

The financial assistance per customer must not exceed the total price of the airfare.  

The agency must indicate its projected sales potential. Based on the sales predictions submitted and the available budget, a selection committee will determine the financial assistance that will be allocated to the agency.

The selected package will receive financial assistance for at least one year. There is a possibility of renewal if the results reach a certain sales threshold that has beendetermined by the program’s management committee. A mechanism to reallocate the allocated financial assistance will be used if the agency does not meet the determined thresholds.

Upon the exhaustion of the financial assistance allocated to the agency, the packages can then be sold at normal rates.

Financial assistance cannot be increased to compensate for any cost overruns.

The Ministère du Tourisme will subsidize no more than the total number of packages established in the financial assistance agreement.  If the agency wishes to increase its grant, it must contact ARF-Québec to validate the availability of the financial assistance.

 

Payments terms

Financial assistance will be paid monthly based on an up-to-date sales statement and proof of customer air travel.

 

General management terms

The total amount of financial assistance awarded under this program is $9.5 million, divided as follows: 

  • $1 million for 2019-2020;
  • $2 million for 2020-2021;
  • $3 million for 2021-2022;
  • $3.5 million for 2022-2023.

To ensure the efficient operation and success of the program, ARF-Québec may consult with the Ministère du Tourisme to adjust certain parameters of this program annually. Ministerial approval may be required for any financial changes.

Upon reviewing the applications, the selection committee will then determine the number of packages selected in each eligible region, which could allow for  several products or seasons to be packaged by region.

ARF-Québec may refuse to grant financial assistance or suspend it if the agency no longer meets the criteria that made the project eligible or if it fails to fulfil any contractual obligations.

Until the program end date, packages may be modified to adapt to the market or the tourist offerings in the region. If necessary, the agency may be required to demonstrate the need for these adjustments to the selection committee.

The agency must manage the assembly, promotion, sale and after-sales service of the packages being offered. The agencies are compensated by selling packages.

The agency must ask consumers if they agree to be surveyed by the Ministère du Tourisme and, if necessary, provide ARF-Québec with their contact information.

The agency must display the Explore Québec logo on any documents intended for promotion within Québec.

 

Expected results

The assessment of achieved objectives will include the following indicators:

  1. Increased demand in response to a good offer: 
    • Growth in the number of accommodation units occupied in each region;
    • Growth in the number of tourists arriving from outside of the region;
    • Increase in the ratio of the number of tourists benefiting from the program compared to the average number of tourists for the reference period (2013-2018).
  2. Lower airfares to targeted regions: 
    • Decrease in the average monthly airfare per region compared to the average monthly fare in 2018.
  3. Extension of the tourist season for regions with high seasonality: 
    • Increase in the number of units occupied monthly by region from September to May.

First call for proposals:The Receptive Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Association of Québec (ARF-Québec) will be accepting package proposals until February 28, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Please download the following documents:

Request for financial assistance - Form 1 - Information about the organization

Request for financial assistance - Form 2 - Information about the package

Grading scale - Explore Québec Program

Receptive Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Association of Québec
Marc-André Plouffe - Explore Québec Manager
explorequebec@arfquebec.com

 

Direction des relations partenariales
Ministère du Tourisme

Phone:418 643-5959, ext. 3421
Toll-free: 1 800 482-2433
relations_affaires@tourisme.gouv.qc.ca

 

  • Are all flights in a package eligible for the subsidy? 
    • No, only one flight (return or one-way) per package and only the one to the region.

 

  • If my application is not accepted, can I adapt it before the deadline?
    • Yes, with the understanding that it will have been analyzed by the manager before the deadline. The complete file will have to be sent in advance to allow the manager to analyze it.

 

  • Are both the Explore Quebec program and the “Air Access” discount are compatible ?
    • ·Yes it’s possible to combine both of them.  Air Canada confirmed that it is feasible for the travel trade partners to get the discount for the stop in Montreal.  The tour operator or the receptive operator has to register with his Air Canada sales representative to get the special rate.  This is not possible to get this discount for flight only, it has to be combined with other items like hotel, car rental or attractions.  See all the detail by clicking on the link below.

 

  • How will I get the discount concretely ($) as a receptive (if we are not the ones buying the flights)?
    • We will need to receive the copy of the airline ticket and the customer's invoice with the monthly report and we will send the amount of the financial assistance directly to the receptive agency.  The latter will then be able to reimburse the TO or give him/her a credit.

 

  • Are only airports in the regions of Quebec covered by the program eligible? 
    • Yes, with one exception, Wabush airport.

 

  • Can I do an "open jaw" with an arrival in one region and departure in another?
    • Yes, as long as both airports are in eligible regions of the program.  The subsidy will be 50% per region if the amount is not the same in both regions.

 

 

  • Are all flights in a package eligible for the discount? 
    • No, only one flight (roundtrip or one-way) per package—the flight that arrives and/or departs from the eligible region.
  • If my application is rejected, can I make changes to it before the deadline?
    • Yes, with the understanding that it has been reviewed by the manager before the deadline. The completed application must be sent out in advance so that the manager can review it.

 

  • Can the Explore Québec program and the “Air Access” discounts be combined?
    • Yes, it is possible to combine them. Air Canada confirmed that travel trade partners canapply fortheMontréal stopover discount. The tour operator or the receptive agency must register with their Air Canada sales representative to get the special rate. It is not possible to get this discount for the flight only, it must be combined with other items such as accommodation, car rental or attractions. See all the details by clicking the link below.

 

  • How will inbound tour operators receive the discount ($) (if they are not the ones buying the flights)?
    • We will require a copy of the customer’s airline ticket and invoice along with the monthly report.Once this is received, we will send the financial assistance amount directly to the receptive agency who will thenreimburse or credit the TO.

 

  • Are only airports in the designated Québec regions covered by the program eligible? 
    • Yes, except forWabush airport.

 

  • Can I purchase an open-jaw flight that arrives in one region and departs from another?
    • Yes, as long as both airports are covered under the program’s eligible regions. A 50% discount will be applied per region if the amount is not the same in both regions.

 

  • Is it mandatory for the Québec agency or the inbound tour operator to purchase the airline ticket or can the customer oragency do it themselves?
    • The airline ticket doesn’t need to be purchased by the Québec agency orinbound tour operator. Financial assistance will still be provided if all other criteria are met.

Les agences réceptives et forfaitistes ayant actuellement soumis des forfaits Explore Québec et ayant été acceptés sont : 

Si vous aimeriez faire partie des forfaits Explore Québec sur la route,
vous pouvez contacter directement ces agences.

 

Cliquez ici  Pour retrouver le répertoire complet de nos agences membres 

Cliquez ici  Si vous n'avez jamais travaillé avec le réseau de distribution, des outils sont disponibles pour vous. 

 

Suite à l'approbation de vos forfaits, vous devez : 

  • Vous assurez que vos clients sont résidents du Québec 
    Le programme ayant été conçu par le gouvernement du Québec dans le but de stimuler le tourisme intra-Québec, vous devez vous assurer que vos clients sont résidents du Québec. Nous vous demandons ainsi de valider l’identité de vos clients, lors de l’achat, par la demande d’une preuve de résidence au Québec par réservation (Permis de conduire, Facture d’Hydro-Québec, compte de taxes, facture de cellulaire…).

    Ces preuves seront demandées dans votre demande de remboursement auprès de l’ARF. 
     
  • Inscrire le rabais Explore Québec sur votre site et votre facture 
    Le rabais doit être visible sur vos affichages (site Internet, brochures ...) et sur la facture. Le rabais doit être appliqué AVANT le calcul des taxes. Par exemple un forfait : 1000$ (avant tx) – 250$ (rabais Explore Québec) = 750$ + taxes.
     
  • Afficher le logo Explore Québec sur vos forfaits Explore Québec 
    Pour télécharger le logo, cliquez ici 
     
  • Inscrire cette phrase sur votre facture faite au client 
    "Ce forfait Explore Québec sur la route vous est offert grâce au soutien financier du ministère du Tourisme."
     
  • Précisions : Sur Mesure 
    Vous pouvez, à partir des forfaits acceptés dans le cadre de Explore Québec, personnaliser le forfait pour les clients qui le demandent. Vous n’avez pas besoin de faire approuver votre séjour dans ce cas. Le rabais s’applique sur le prix de vente total avant taxes, comme expliqué ci-haut, et non juste sur le forfait accepté au préalable dans le cadre de EQ.