Skip to main content

Government Strategy

Quebec campaigned to bring tourists to the province with ambitious campaigns aimed at Canadians and Americans.

Cover of a tour guide La Gaspésie is drawn in black and white on a pastel green background representing the St. Lawrence River. All villages along the route of Route 6 have been identified. In the top, La Gaspésie is written in big letters. Below, a photograph of Percé Rock is presented in a triangular shape. At the bottom of the page is written This booklet is published by l’Association des Hôteliers de la Gaspésie.

The first guidebook produced by the hoteliers of the Gaspésie has a modern cover, suggesting that the region wanted to promote itself as keeping up with the times.


Tourists were pitched a romanticized version of Quebec: the pastoral landscape, the bread oven along the highway, wayside crosses, roadside artisanat, the architecture of New France – these all had a nostalgic appeal at a time when society elsewhere was rapidly evolving and abandoning its past.

Black and white photography of Rocher Percé. This is one of the most popular viewpoints. The photograph is taken from a high point, at a distance from the Rock, giving a view of the village of Percé, Bonaventure Island and Rocher Percé. The trees on both sides of the photographs create a natural frame of the landscape.

The marks on this photograph of Percé from 1965 indicate an image cropped by a photo editor to fit onto the travel pages.


The Gaspé was described as being “cut off from the world for many years”. The isolation of the region became one of its key selling points. Advertisements, guidebooks and brochures promoted the Gaspésie and its unchanging landscape and people. Slogans such as “Romantic Gaspe” and “The Normandy of North America” were used to entice the first motor tourists. In many instances, the Gaspésie of the advertisers and the way of life were not far apart. But on occasion, the image of the region as an agricultural backwater that stuck in time was a caricature, falsely downplaying its economic progress.

The cover of the pamphlet from 1951 for Gaspé Tours presents an engraving of the view of Percé Rock from the coast. The brochure is promoting the tour of Gaspésie in 4 days for $90 from Mont-Joli back to Mont-Joli.

Pamphlet of Gaspé Tour Line of 1951, each year the pamphlet was reproduced in a different color.

Cover of a tourist pamphlet of the American Express travel agency. The pamphlet presents 5 destinations on the east coast: Cape Cod, Gaspé, New England, Nova Scotia and Virginia/Gettysburg. Each destination is represented by a bucolic watercolour representing the typical landscape of each region.

One of the pamphlets produced by an American agency presenting Gaspésie as a destination.