Despite the winter weather, 150 travel agents and tourism professionals attended the Destination France roadshow last night in Toronto, the third stop on a four city Canadian tour. This year’s roadshow theme focused on ‘terroirs’ or regional ways of life, reports Press Today’s Ashley Rochefort, who was on hand for the event.
“What customers are looking for right now is slower travel,” explains Melanie Paul-Hus, Director for Canada, Atout France. “They want to spend more time in a single area and really discover the French lifestyle.”
At 10 nights, Canada has one of the longest trip durations of any inbound market to France, due in part to its French heritage. Even so, Atout France is eager to have Canadians already familiar with France to consider visiting again, travelling to a less well-known destination. Like the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud at the heart of the Loire Valley. Canada has recently become an emerging market for the historic Abbey that boasts 14 hectares of gardens and four monastaries, one of which has been transformed into a 54 room 4-star hotel. People come here for abundant history, peace and tranquility, and gastronomy with a Michelin star restaurant on site.
As of the end of December 2019, the Canadian market was projected to increase 18% in bookings to France over the next six months. However, as the spread of COVID-19 progresses around the world, the destination is expressing a more cautious optimism and wait-and-see approach.
To cap off the evening, awards were handed out to Club Med, recipient of the Partner of the Year award recognizing the remarkable involvement of a tour operator and to Planet France, recipient of the France Product of the Year award recognizing the work of a tour operator who innovates by offering original tours in France.
IN THE PHOTOS
Quite the group
Participating suppliers including Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Brittany, Côte d’Azur, Normandy, Deauville, Dieppe-Maritim, Juno Beach Center, Honfleur, the Loire Valley, Chateau du Clos Lucé, Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, Le Mans – Sarthe Tourisme, Domaine de Chaumont-Sur-Loire, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Tahiti, Air Canada, Air France, Club Med, Finding France, and Ideal Travel by Fontana Tourisme.
A team effort
Melanie Paul-Hus, Director, Atout France in Canada and Tudor Alexis, Consul General of France in Toronto present the Partner of the Year award to Club Med representatives.
Agents interested in booking private, corporate, or wedding groups at the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud can contact Charlotte Chateau directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
More to discover
Charmaine Fernendes (pictured left) a travel agent with HRG North America, sells a lot of Paris, but is at the Destination France trade show hoping to learn about different regions of France to offer her clients.
An award to remember
Tudor Alexis, Consul General of France in Toronto and Melanie Paul-Hus, Director, Atout France in Canada present the France Product of the Year to Planet France.