It was 90 years ago, on October 8, 1919, that a group of dynamic tourist industry professionals banded together in order to establish a tourist office with the objective to stimulate American tourism to Montréal.
Present at this inaugural meeting were representatives from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Goodyear Tires, Henry Birks & Sons, Henry Morgan’s store (now known as The Bay), Holt Renfrew, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Windsor Hotel, the City of Montréal, the Montréal Chamber of Commerce, Canadian National, as well as Mr. Eugène Merrill Desaulniers, provincial deputy at the time.
Everyone present was in favour of the creation of a new organization whose mission would be to promote Montréal tourism. It remained nameless, however, until their second meeting in December 1919 when the name “Tourists’ Bureau of Montréal” was unanimously adopted. At the end of the very same year, seven businesses had paid $500 in order to become members whereas others the likes of Grand Trunk Railway, Canadian Pacific and the Queen’s Hotel were committed to join. And so explains how one of North America’s first tourist bureaus, inspired by the (then) recent creation of some urban North American offices, came to be.
After several name changes (in 1924, 1963, 1975, 1982 and in 1998), the Greater Montréal Convention and Tourism Bureau Inc., now known as Tourism Montréal, is entering its 91st year and is now, more than ever, ready to pursue its fundamental objective: to promote Montréal tourism, to attract and welcome tourists to Montréal and to guide Montréal’s tourism development.