The madness for camping

News 21 August, 2017
  • Photo Éric Yvan Lemay
    Isabelle Bélanger been camping since his childhood. She even took her children when they were 9 and 10 months. She and her husband, Michel Roussin, have decided to invest in a tent new for more comfort.

    Eric Yvan Lemay

    Monday, 21 aug 2017 06:30

    Monday, 21 aug 2017 06:30

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    The popularity of camping exploded in Quebec in the past 10 years. Unable to afford cottages are often too expensive, in search of peace and quiet or a place to spend a family vacation at a reasonable price, Quebecers are more likely to camp.

    Between 2006 and 2016, the number of locations occupied in caravan parks has increased by 23 %. Some regions have experienced spectacular increases, according to figures from Tourism Quebec. This is the case of the Lanaudière region, which has seen the number of campers daily to climb from 2246 to achieve 7738, which is the largest increase in the province. However, it is always the Montérégie region, which occupies the top of the keypad with 14 621 land occupied in 2016.

    “There has been an increase in attendance. We had a ridership record last year and the current season promises to be exceptional, ” says Chantal Lemire, director of customer service at the national Park of Oka. Even if the camping account 891 sites, it is not rare that all the land with services to be reserved on the weekends.

    Camping Vacances St-Tropez, in Sainte-Béatrix, the owner said refuse up to 1000 customers during weekends busy as the Saint-Jean-Baptiste. “The industry has made a great leap in the last few years,” confirms Joanne Durand.


    At Camping Québec, it indicates that several factors are involved in the increase of the land since 10 years. Many owners have invested in playgrounds, pools and other attractions to attract young families.

    “The younger customers are interested as much in the campsite than previous generations. There are a lot of former campers who came in as children and come back with their own “, said the deputy director of Camping Québec, Louis-Jean.

    The number of campers, seasonal workers is also rising and now represents more than the half of the campers. According to Ms. Durand, the customer has evolved in recent years. There are now many more business people and even doctors and lawyers. The customer has equipment that is more comfortable and often more luxurious.

    “Some would have the means to have a cottage, but they love the social side of camping,” she said.

    “People want to have comfort,” says Yves Gingras, of the Camping Area of the dream in Sainte-Angèle-de-Monnoir. In addition to the services, the owners have invested in a swimming pool this year, and water games to appeal to families, which account for approximately 70 % of the clientele.

    Difficult beginning

    That said, the start of the season 2017 has not been easy for several of the campsites because of the weather. According to an internal survey of Camping Québec, 40 % of the owners have faced a decline in attendance compared to last year for the first half of the season.

    It is expected, however, that the situation improves by the end of the season with 26 per cent of respondents to the survey of Camping Québec said they had more bookings for the month of August than for the same month last year.

    Tranquillity sought

    Photo courtesy

    A tent for the ready-to-camp at the Campsite Labelle and Rouge, located in the Laurentians.


    If all the campsites have seen their traffic increase between 2015 and 2016, those of small size that have increased the most. During this time, campsites with less than 39 sites have seen their occupancy rates jump by more than 11 %. This increase is not foreign to the growing popularity of the tent, and the search for peace by the campers. “This week, we had a booking from a guy from Toronto at the beginning of September. He wanted to get off the beaten track and was looking for a secluded area, ” said Simon Parent, Camping, Eco-resort boreal Lake Edward in Haute-Mauricie.


    The camping Labelle and the Red in the Laurentians, there is also a craze for sites far from all, but especially for the ready-to-camp. “It’s been a long time since I started this. These are, among others, families who want to go camping. Instead of equipping it, they are opting for this formula, ” says the owner, Marc-André Cyr. The “glamping” that combines camping and luxury, is gaining in popularity.

    What they said

    Photo Éric Yvan Lemay


    “It is a two-in-one. I’ve been using my RV for camping and as an office. I got everything to work and I can introduce my grandchildren to camping.”

    – Michel Belliveau in the company of Louis, Antoine, and Frédérique

    Photo Éric Yvan Lemay


    “This is our first time camping and we regret not to have taken a week. We could not add more days as it is full.”

    – Bahla Yahiatienne with her husband, Farid Touati, and their children, Anais, Sid Ali and Nadine

    “This is big mode. Everyone camped. It is a beautiful “sport” family. “

    – Carrie Beliveau, of Windsor, in Estrie

    Strong increase in

    Sites occupied per day*

    • 2006 : 66 429
    • 2016 : 81 833
    • + 23 %

    The regions where there are the greatest number of campers**

    • Montérégie : 14 621
    • Cantons-de-l’est : 10 127
    • Lanaudière : 7738
    • The laurentians : 7354
    • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean : 6676
    • A 6.4% increase in users of tents***
    • 30 % of the campers will visit more than three campsites by season

    The most significant increases in attendance between 2015 and 2016

    • Charlevoix : 13,9 %
    • Ottawa : 11,6 %

    *Average of campers per day during the season

    **Slots occupied in 2016

    ***Between 2015 and 2016

    Sources : Tourism and Québec Camping Québec