What follows is the history of Otis Excursions Inc.
The Otis family hunted and fished on the St. Lawrence from generation to generation. As a guide, Mr. Otis (father) brought people out onto the St. Lawrence to fish and to see the magnificent whales.
This was simply a natural activity for the Otis family. However, during one historic expedition out onto the St. Lawrence, the tourists aboard simply wanted to observe the whales. This was quite a novel concept in the 1950s.
Watching whales became increasingly in demand. Mr. Otis quickly saw the potential.
In the late 1950s, early 1960s, Mr. Otis met a young girl from Tadoussac. From this union, five children were born, Jean-Roger being one of them. From a very young age, Jean-Roger participated in activities out on the St. Lawrence: fishing, hunting and a lot of whale, seal and bird watching. When he returned from these outings, Jean-Roger was often more moved than the people he accompanied.
One day, Mr. Otis received a request from filmmaker Pierre Perreault to help him shoot various scenes, some of which are in the film ‘Pour la suite du monde’. Mr. Otis continued his outings onto the Estuary on a more regular basis during the summer with tourists from the hotel, private clubs and so forth. At the time it didn’t cost very much to go encounter the whales that are still present offshore.
The years 1975 and 1976 were an amazing time for Mr. Otis, his young son Jean-Roger and Mr. André Tremblay from the Tadoussac Youth Hostel. This was a turning point. From then on the growth of this activity has been unlimited and without precedent.
At some point in the early 1980s this wonderful activity was subjected to outside competition. When the larger companies turned up and took up the space, they took up a lot of space. It was then that Mr. Otis decided to abandon his offshore excursions. This decision was a great deception for Jean-Roger.
After a long period of reflection, time spent travelling, he decided to establish his own company.
After many drawbacks, Jean-Roger finally succeeded and the Compagnie Otis Excursion was created in 1990 in Tadoussac. Jean-Roger is the sole owner.