Over the last ten years, the number of visits to Grosse Île has substantially increased, rising from 5400 visits in 1989 to a peak of 41 000 in 1997. The number of visits held steady at around 15 000 annually between 1992 and 1996. Nineteen ninety-seven was an exceptional year on account of the numerous special activities held in connection with the commemoration of the tragic events of 1847. Since that time, annual visitation numbers have hovered between 26 000 and 30 000.
During the 1999 season, the island welcomed some 29 600 visits between May 1 and October 31. 24 The average duration of visits was 214 minutes, by far the longest among all visits recorded at the national historic sites in Quebec.
The great majority of visitors boarded at Berthier-sur-Mer. Heritage interpreters provided 726 guided tours during the season, with an average of 41 visitors per guided tour. About 5775 people, or 2 out of 10, toured Grosse Île in organised groups.
The most recent study of visitors dates to 1998. This survey accounted for the significant increase in visitation and the changes in services offered up to that time. For the most part, Grosse Île attracts visitors from Quebec, a great number of them from the provincial administrative regions of Québec City and Chaudière- Appalaches, with smaller numbers arriving from the Montreal administrative region. Most visitors are ages 35 to 54, an age group similar to that found at other national historic sites.
It is important to remember that access to Grosse Île continues to be controlled. This means that visitors may leave the wharf area only if they pay for a guided tour.
24. Two thirds of visits occurred in July and August.
Analysis of the current situation
Ownership and legal context
Commemorative integrity of the site
Condition of landscapes and level-1 resources
Communication of site messages of national historic significance
Impacts of activities past and present
Public visitation and use
Facilities and services
Regional tourism context