Boating and water sports are booming in Quebec according to a new statistical abstract conduct by the National Marine Manufacturer's Association (NMMA) with data obtained by Statistics Canada and Transport Canada.
The statistical abstract was presented by the Quebec Marine Association (QMA) and the NMMA at the opening of the Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show, which is currently being held at Place Bonaventure until February 12.
"Nautical activities in Quebec represent an economic impact of $5.8 billion, 25 percent of which comes from tourism activities,' says Yves Paquette, head of the Quebec Marine Association (QMA). "With almost half a million lakes in Quebec, the St-Lawrence River – which is one to the 25 biggest rivers in the world, a great marine trail, many boating routes and an exceptional nature, it is normal that nautical activities are so popular among citizens. Moreover, it is very accessible even for small budget.'
The abstract revealed that approximately 10.5 million Canadian adults went boating at least once during 2011 (38 percent of the population). This represents an increase of four million over an earlier study conducted in 2006 by Genesis Research.
In Quebec, 40 percent of adults went boating last year, which translates to nearly 2.6 million boaters. The province also accounted for 20 percent of personal watercraft and outboard boats sold in Canada. In addition, 20 percent of Quebecers are planning to buy a boat in the future.
Quebec is also believed to have the largest number of wakeboarding and water skiing fans in Canada. In 2011, the province accounted for 32 percent of the market followed by Alberta with 22 percent, British Columbia with 16 percent and Ontario with 15 percent. “These numbers are surprising,” says Paquette, “especially since Ontario is the province with the highest number of boaters in the country and has a very well developed infrastructure,”