with Caroline Putnoki of Atout France

How long have you been in the business?  Let me count!  14 years including 11 with Atout France – France’s Tourism Development Agency.

What’s the best part of the job?  The variety – I deal with event planning, tour operators, the Ambassador, the journalists.

What was your first job?  I was a travel agent at Voyage Regence in Montreal.

  
Ever had a brush with fame? Yes! A lot! Claude Lelouch, the director of the Oscar- winning movie A Man and a Woman. And many French and Quebecois celebrities.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to sing. I sing under my shower, but never in public.

What do people not know about you?  That I love to go back to where I was born [French Guyana] and explore the jungle. I go twice a year.

What’s your favourite airline?  [Laughs]  This is a tricky question! A mix of Air Transat – for availability and destinations – and classy Air France service. Plus the  comfort of AC business class!

What’s your favourite movie?  The Party with Peter Sellers. I’ve seen it many, many times.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?  I do a lot of yoga – and I love to cook.

What’s on your iPod?  5,000 songs – everything from opera to Cold Play to Brazilian and Cuban music. Sarah McLaughlin and Cirque du Soleil.  And Carla Bruni!

Whom do you most respect in the industry?  I have a great admiration for the founders of Transat – Jean-Marc Eustache, Philippe Sureau and Lina De Cesare – The Three Tenors, we call them in Quebec.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?  I’d impose stricter qualifications for travel agents, the way there are in France.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long haul flight who would it be?  Pierce Brosnan – I hope he’s as interesting as he is good looking!

What’s your favourite destination?  France, of course – especially French Guyana, as my heart is there – it’s not known. It’s called “The Amazon part of France”.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?  I hope to still be in tourism – I think I cannot do anything else!

Leave a Reply