Thank you for having me appear before the Standing Committee on Finance. I am president of Groupe Autocar Jeannois, a company specializing in passenger transportation, specifically tourist charters. I am also president of the Fédération des transporteurs par autobus, which represents all types of passenger transportation in Quebec.
The announcement of the pandemic shook the bus industry in Canada and Quebec. All sectors of the industry's activity have been hard hit, especially tourist charter transportation. That is what I will talk about today.
In contrast to some industries that have remained partially operational, the tourism industry and the charter travel sector had to shut down all of their operations overnight. For us, the carriers, this represents a loss of $21.5 million in revenue per month since the beginning of the pandemic, in Quebec alone. It has never happened before. For your information, in my company specifically, which normally operates 45 vehicles in this industry, everything has shut down. As of June 30, losses will total about $3.1 million.
No one can predict if the recovery will happen soon. In this context, carriers need government support tailored to their reality. Passenger transportation by bus is essential for all Canadians and Quebeckers, as well as for those who come to discover our province or our beautiful country.
In Quebec, the chartered bus travel industry generates annual business of more than $240 million, not counting the associated economic spinoffs. If you include the rest of Canada, you could say the industry is huge. In Quebec alone, approximately 4,000 direct employees in over 160 independent companies operate more than 530 coaches in Quebec and the other Canadian provinces.
Beyond these numbers, all our sports teams travel from city to city to compete in numerous tournaments throughout Quebec and outside the province. Every year, our young students discover the impressive wonders and fast-paced life in major Canadian and U.S. cities. We must not forget our seniors, as well as the people and organizations that visit our museums and frequent the many performance venues. Everything has stopped. All entertainment, in all regions of Quebec, is shut down.
Charter transportation is therefore on full pause. The current crisis is forcing the cancellation of all these activities, which include numerous guided tours in all our major cities and, above all, our many tourist routes travelled by an impressive clientele from every corner of the world.
Since March, in Quebec alone, 18,000 contracts have been cancelled. For the period from March to June, this represents gross losses of $86 million in sales, or approximately 35% of the carriers' annual sales. If the crisis persists beyond the summer season, losses could total an additional $103 million, which would represent another 45% loss of our annual sales by the end of October. Because of the type of services we offer, it is during these periods of the year that our organizations conduct more than 80% of their business. These are colossal losses that jeopardize the survival of our organizations.
Independent carriers have a large structure and significant capital assets to support. Their level of financing, which is already very high, is marked by the purchase, maintenance and storage of a sophisticated and very costly fleet of vehicles.
For my organization and similar businesses in the industry, the catastrophic financial losses and the complete shutdown of operations have resulted in significant damage of another kind: the loss of our specialized workforce. It is difficult to retain professional drivers who must continue to work. Most of them turn to transportation companies of all kinds. In addition, despite capital tax holiday agreements, our financing structure and significant capital assets do not permit us to accumulate new loans.
Government support to meet our current cashflow needs is provided in the form of loans. To resume our operations and adopt all the measures for the safety of our employees and customers, financial and structural accommodations will have to be made.
Our industry has been hit very hard. However, because of the type of business we are in, we cannot reinvent ourselves to offer other types of services, as other industries are currently doing. Our industry will be one of the last to reopen and our financial burden will still be there. At the moment, we are facing a total lack of revenue.
Passenger transportation will be a key sector for the recovery of the Quebec and Canadian tourism industry. If this critical situation persists, hundreds of jobs and dozens of buses will not be there to adequately serve travellers and the general public.
Our industry needs special support so that Quebec's 160 companies can continue to help travellers from here and elsewhere discover not only our province, but also the other Canadian provinces. I include in this number all Quebeckers who visit the rest of the country.
If they receive adequate support to get through this historic crisis, our transportation companies will be ready and able to participate in the recovery of the tourism industry and the Canadian economy as a whole.
Thank you very much. I am ready to answer your questions.