Montreal's Tourist Heart A Ghost Town In Pandemic Summer


Montreal's tourist heart a ghost town in pandemic summer

Montreal, Aug 2 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Aug, 2020 ) :Stripped of the crowds of visitors that usually flock to its sights, from the Grand Prix to its renowned festivals, Montreal is trying to reinvent itself during the coronavirus pandemic and salvage what is left of its summer.

The city is spending heavily and sponsoring dozens of artistic shows in an effort to lure visitors.

But despite its best efforts, the damage is all too obvious.

"Look at the terraces here, they are all empty, it's incredible," said Sam Namour, owner of an Inuit art gallery in Old Montreal, pointing to the deserted cafes on Jacques Cartier Square.

Over the past 40 years, Namour has greeted thousands of visitors to his gallery, including former presidents Bill Clinton of the US and Jacques Chirac of France. But on this hot summer's day, not a single person has entered his establishment since he opened up three hours earlier.

Around 11 million tourists visit the city in a normal year, 80 percent of them from outside Quebec province, spending some Can$4 billion (USD$3 billion), said Yves Lalumiere, head of the city's tourism board.