Tourisme Montreal highlights winter, family travel

Tourisme Montreal highlights winter, family travel

TORONTO — Montreal is often touted as a summer destination for adults, but Tourisme Montreal is billing it as one of the top winter destinations for family travel with a variety of winter-related festivals and events. And it’s also launching a new family pass to encourage adults to bring their kids with them.

“We find the family product is probably not talked about enough,” Patrizia Dri, director of media, leisure market and member services with Tourisme Montreal, told Travelweek during a Tourisme Montreal event last week. “(So) the highlight of this year is the family pass.”

Tourisme Montreal is developing a family pass where nine Montreal attractions will offer free entrance for kids under 12 years old, with the purchase of one adult ticket. This includes a social media challenge for kids, who receive a ‘VIP pass’ upon check-in at one of the participating hotels.

So far, six hotels are onboard, with more expected in the coming weeks. The family pass (and it partners) will be officially announced in mid-November. “The hotels are offering packages – many of them pay commission on the packages,” said Dri. “The pass is free, so it’s an added bonus (for agents to offer clients).”

Winter festivities that clients can plan trips around include Merry Montreal during the month of December and the Luminotherapie digital installations at the Place des Festivals from Dec. 10 to Feb. 2, 2015. And in the middle of winter, the city will head outdoors for the Montreal en Lumiere festival – one of the largest winter festivals of its kind that involves food and art.

Each year, Montreal en Lumiere highlights a different country’s cuisine, and this year Swiss chefs will be paired with 50 restaurants in Montreal.

“We have everything from brunches to high-dining experiences, and there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget,” said Vincent Lefebvre, international and travel media publicity with Montreal en Lumiere. “It starts at $20 up to $250 for high-dining, presidential meals.”

There are also indoor and outdoor shows – including music, theatre, circus, dance and outdoor DJs – and all outdoor events are free. The event takes place Feb. 19 to March 1.