The Aquarium’s new pavilion !
10 mai 2012
Québec, May 10, 2012 – The Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks, Mr. Pierre Arcand, and the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister Responsible for the National Capital Region, Mr. Sam Hamad, opened the Aquarium’s new pavilion today. From now on it will house jellyfish, sea dragons, seahorses, rays and bonnethead sharks, and, under the supervision of animal care personnel, will also give visitors the opportunity to touch these rays in their a tank.
“Beyond entertainment, Aquarium du Québec fulfills an educational and awareness mission focussing on respect for the environment and the protection of biodiversity. This is why we have invested $8 M to build this new pavilion. This is a major element in the Aquarium’s development and it fits appropriately into one of the main development axes prioritized by the Comité performance de l'industrie touristique”, declared Minister Arcand.
An Institution in Full Expansion
The Aquarium’s new pavilion has three sections that are decorated and illuminated to create different atmospheres. The jellyfish section recreates the mysterious atmosphere of the seabed, the seahorse section, which includes several seahorse species, is linked to the world of pirates, and the touch thank represents a coastal environment. This area also gives visitors a chance to touch rays and bonnethead sharks.
The building’s cozy yet elegant atmosphere will also be perfect for corporate events, such as cocktails and other business occasions. This new pavilion will be open to the public starting tomorrow, May 11, 2012.
“With the enriching and recreational experience it provides to visitors, supported by excellent customer service, it’s not surprising that Aquarium du Québec has become one of the 5 most visited tourism sites in Québec City, and that visitor attendance has increased by 90%. Seventy percent of the Aquarium’s clientele comes from outside the area. The Aquarium’s development plan, which was launched in 2006 to improve infrastructures and increase tourism supply, paved the way for important milestones for its success”, stated Minister Hamad.
“This new pavilion is in line with our objectives for growth, increased visitor attendance and greater profitability”, added Minister Arcand.
Sustained Growth Since 2006
Since the Aquarium was entrusted to Sépaq in 2006, its annual attendance has risen from 170,000 visitors to 329,000 visitors in 2011-2012. This past year was marked by the arrival of two young polar bears and some arctic foxes. Other projects are in the works, including the addition of a 150-place 3-season marquee and an upgrade for the Parc des Chênes trails to provide wheelchair and stroller access.
Since 2006, a total of $3.3 M has been invested in major capital works projects involving the addition of natural bleachers to the polar bear pools, the construction of a sound studio, the creation of a water playground and a fitness trail for children, and the establishment of Festi Lumière, a tourism event that attracted 32,000 visitors last year. In 2009, the inauguration of walrus and polar bear enclosures renovations concluded this series of important improvements for Aquarium du Québec. All of these investments were aimed at improving the product, and therefore, customer experience.
Minister Hamad paid tribute to the work of the Aquarium’s Development Committee, “without whom, ideas as innovative as those leading to the opening of this pavilion would have never reached the stage of realization”. The members of this committee are representatives of recognized regional and tourism organizations, such as the Québec Tourist Bureau, Université Laval, the Société des parcs de sciences naturelles du Québec, the Québec Winter Carnival, the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec, the CLD and Sépaq.
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