Brief history

The predecessor of the Quebec Religious and Spiritual Tourism Association (QRSTA), Québec’s National Shrines, came into existence in 2009. The goal of this organization, born of a need shared by Quebec’s highly sacred sites and the tourist regions where they are found, was to promote the spiritual richness and heritage of these jewels beyond the province’s borders.  At the time there were five members in addition to the four tourist regions that offered their support:

  • Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal
  • Our Lady of the Cape Shrine
  • Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
  • Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral
  • Saint Anthony’s Hermitage of Lac-Bouchette
  • Tourism Montréal
  • Tourisme Mauricie
  • Québec City Tourism
  • Tourisme Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

With financial support from its members, from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and from the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec until 2016, Québec’s National Shrines was able to implement a successful commercialization plan to increase awareness of sacred sites and boost traffic to these sites. Efforts were mainly targeted to specialized travel agencies and tour operators in the U.S. and Mexico and included appearances at travel fairs, canvassing events, and familiarization tours as well as press releases, which contributed to the development and promotion of our members, who have made a name for themselves in the tourism industry.

Creation of the QRSTA

The foundation of the Quebec Religious and Spiritual Tourism Association was officialized in December 2018 as the result of growing interest in Québec’s National Shrines and a boom in the sector of religious and spiritual tourism. Composed of 9 original members, the Association quickly gained more accredited members, reaching more than 25 by the end of 2018. This number continues to grow.

Vision

To be the leader in the development and promotion of religious and spiritual tourism in Quebec and to contribute to the improvement of Quebec’s tourism experiences and products with rich, authentic offers of religious and spiritual tourism.

 Mission

To work closely with stakeholders from Quebec’s religious and spiritual tourism industry, promote them, represent them to various authorities and offer them expertise, an exchange forum and services that foster their development.

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