Monday, October 4, 2010

Canonization will boost Montreal tourism

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MONTREAL - Having a newly minted saint in town isn't just good news for Montreal's faithful — it will also likely bring a few hallelujahs from the city's travel industry.

The canonization of Brother Andre by Pope Benedict on Oct. 17 will not only spur some special events in Montreal but will also have long-lasting effects on the marketing of the city as a religious tourism destination, observers say.

"Once somebody is canonized, that really shoots it through the roof," says Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association, which is holding its annual trade show in Montreal in November.

Wright said besides all the media attention Montreal will get because of the canonization, the papal nod to one of its local sons will be an incentive for faith-based tour operators to push Montreal itineraries in their packages.

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