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Destination France Tour 2024— Toronto

Destination France

The second day of the Destination France 2024 tour, featuring 23 French and local exhibitors, came to a successful close in the Queen City. The event welcomed 80 travel advisors, who attended an exhaustive Occitanie region presentation followed by constructive exchanges at the workshop meeting the exhibitors, a cocktail and Awards ceremony along with Door prizes.

Atout France was delighted to welcome a selection of travel advisors and wholesalers with a passion for France to the Sheraton Centre Hotel, and reminded the audience of the major events for 2024:

- The 150th anniversary of Impressionism (Paris, Normandy)

- The 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy (Normandy)

- Olympic and Paralympic Games (all of France)

- The reopening of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on December 8.

The Consul General of France in Toronto, Mr. Bertrand Pous meet and greet with the French exhibitors and travel professionals during the workshop. All were thankful for his presence.

Naturally, Atout France is a key player in achieving the ambitious objectives of the Destination France Plan, which was launched by the French President. In addition to the redesign of the Distinction Palace, the renewal of Atout France's websites (B2B and B2C) and its brand, the agency is taking a bold step by teaming up with Netflix (France) for an image campaign linked to television productions shot in France. After an overall prolific year in 2023, Mélanie Paul-Hus, Director of Atout France's Canadian office, thanks the industry for its enthusiasm for Destination France's projects, and for having contributed to a vigorous recovery in the marketing of French destinations in Ontario and Canada.

Air Canada, the official airline partner of the roadshow, promoted their direct seasonal winter service from Toronto to Fort-de-France, Martinique, as well as the easy to smooth connecting seasonal summer Montreal-Nice, or year-long Montreal-Toulouse, Toronto-Paris and the restart of the Montreal-Lyon flights. Convenient new air-rail connections in France, thanks to collaboration with SNCF, France's leading rail operator, and its subcontractor AccessRail, provide access to convenient itineraries combining flight and train throughout the country. Among the carrier news, Yazdan Bakhtiary, Manager Regional Sales - Toronto, spoke of the carrier's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in all its operations by 2050, sustainability orientations and vision, program development in the vacation packages to France through Air Canada Vacations.

The Occitanie region took center stage, surrounded by its 5 partners: Toulouse airport, Carcassonne Patrimoine Mondial, Destination Pyrénées, Uzès Tourism office and Cité Hôtels Groupe. The delegation took it in turns to present their new products for 2024.

Occitanie's flagship product is undoubtedly L'Occitanie Rail Tour, a suggestion of eco-responsible itineraries by train (or regional coach) that allow you to tour Occitanie, taking all or part of the circuits described below and offering the promise of Fabuleux Voyages. This year, a complete selection of tourist offers including accommodation, activities, visits... will be available, along with a preferential rate for using the regional train and coach network. This will enable you to discover the majority of Occitanie's Grands Sites via some twenty identified itineraries, at the pace of the fifty or so stopover stations that serve them.

A tradeshow gave the opportunity to exhibitors and participants to interact and helped to forge links and deepen knowledge of the French tourism offering and inspire future itineraries and tours in France. Here is the list of our partners:

Air Canada, Vacances Air Canada, l’Occitanie, Toulouse Airport, Carcassonne Patrimoine Mondial, Destination Pyrénées, Destination Pays d’Uzès et Pont du Gard, Cité Hôtels Groupe, Office de Tourisme Aix-en-Provence, l’agence régionale du Tourisme Grand Est, Château Royal d’Amboise, Club Med, Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme, 5 Continents, Croisieurope, Comité Régional de Tourisme Côte d’Azur France, La Vallée Village, Château du Clos Lucé – Parc Leonardo da Vinci, le Voyage à Nantes, Biografy Group, Musée National Picasso-Paris, Paradis Latin, Destination Pays d’Uzès Pont du Gard, l’Office de Tourisme, des Loisirs et des Congrès de Marseille, St-Tropez Tourisme, Villa Cosy Hôtel & Spa, Office de Tourisme de Saint-Martin, Trip my France et Rail Europe.

* To find the exhibitor directory and other useful information, please visit our dedicated website: https://www.destinationfrance.ca/en/page/accueil

In collaboration with Stimulation Déjà Vu, a Montreal-based start-up that links scents and emotions, several guests were able to experience the discovery of French destinations through a game of fragrance association. The workshop was an opportunity to reveal an original olfactory creation created for the Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme, which was sure to awaken the senses of lovers of lush nature and Creole flavors. The combination of frangipani blossom and hibiscus makes for a warm, authentic fragrance that evokes an emotion of surprise. Added to this is a fruity, natural facet that transports us to the tropical flora and sunshine of Martinique.

At the end of the cocktail, on a high note, The Destination France 2024, Product of the Year award was presented to: Patricia Fargeon President of Planet France for their: Live like a real French – proposed stay in Côte d’Azur.

This prize rewards the sustainable and slow travel aspect of their proposed stay in Côte d’Azur, by encouraging to buy local fresh food from the market, walking to shop around, enhance the use electric bikes to stroll along the Mediterranean coast, or take the train to visit places that are a little bit further away, like Villefranche sur Mer, or Menton.

Air Canada offered to the Award winner return flights to France.

It's important to remember that three other itineraries were in the running for the prize: Martinique and Guadeloupe - Senior Discovery Tours, Pilgrimage to France, Spain and Portugal - Connaissance Travel and The Mystery of Mary Magdalene - The Divine Destination Collection. We would like to thank all participants for their commitment.

Among the travel agents who voted for this award, one was randomly selected to receive a $250 gift card and the winner is: Shereen Jeraratham from Globus Family of Brands.

A croisieurope voucher for a 7 day-6-night Bordeaux river cruise for 2 persons was draw and the winner is Sylvie Perron, Product &Insurance Manager for Senior Discovery Tours.

Finally, a 7-day/6-night stay in Occitanie in 4* hotels, including sightseeing and train transfers was offered to close the event and the winner is Ismael Tan Centre Holidays.

Now, Atout France team and its partner will head to Calgary and Vancouver to meet up with tourism professional from Western Canada.

To learn more about the roadshow and see the full list of our partners, please visit our official website: https://www.destinationfrance.ca/en/page/accueil/

 

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