GROSSE-ILE, Que. – The federal government intends to invest $30 million over three years in the country’s tourism sector in order to attract more Americans north of the border.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement on Friday in Grosse-Ile, an island on the St. Lawrence River about 80 kilometres east of Quebec City.
Harper said the money will go toward helping the Canadian Tourism Commission partner with provincial bureaus to market Canadian destinations with the goal of attracting an additional 680,000 Americans over the three-year period.
Tourism officials hope the funding will help create or maintain 2,900 jobs.
In 2014 Canada received 11.5 million overnight U.S. tourists, or about 70 per cent of the total number of tourists who stayed overnight in the country.
Harper also announced an additional $5.13 million for Grosse-Ile and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site, located on the island.
The island served as the main point of entry for immigrants to Canada before the Second World War, including many Irish.
The island also acted as a quarantine station for the Port of Quebec until 1937 and it was where many Irish immigrants suffered during the typhus epidemic of 1847.