The Guidebook – A Bible for Tourists
La Gaspésie, about 1940
Association of Hotel Keepers of the Gaspésie
Les Amis des Jardins de Métis Collection
Government has played a major role in promoting tourism in Quebec. With a large number of small operators, government became the key actor in choosing images and selecting places to promote. It took decades before associations of hoteliers took form and the first “syndicat de tourisme” began to pool funds and resources. These early forms of collaboration gradually emerged into the tourism associations which are today the key organization in promoting each of Quebec’s tourism regions.
The first and most popular tool used to promote the region was the guidebook. They became the main output of the collaboration between tourism operators and a bible for visitors.
Almost a century after the first guidebooks began to be mass produced, their layout has barely changed – offering readers a sequence of brief texts describing each village and its attractions, a generous dose of photographs and advertisements purchased by hoteliers and attractions to promote their businesses and special offerings.