France Says Bonjour Canada

With Martha Chapman

Melanie Paul-Hus of Atout France with
Diane Audet of Air France/KLM

Surprise hit of the evening? The self-serve candy bar

Winners included the Globus family of brands, represented by Stéphanie Bishop (between the dancing girls!)

It’s a sure sign of spring when Atout France, the tourist office of that lovely country, puts together a delegation of hoteliers, tour operators, regions (and even sexy little French Caribbean and Polynesian islands) and woos Canadian agents with an update, accompanied by delicious food.

Such was the case last week at Toronto’s Old Mill event facility when the group of 30 hosted some 120 travel agents to a trade show, array of finger foods and entertainment. Amongst the news is the fact that the country has a new tourism slogan, Joie de Vivre.  “This represents what France is all about,” says Melanie Paul-Hus, the interim director/Canada for Atout France. “There is joie de vivre in our music, our art, our landscape, fashion and of course gastronomy.” Clearly Canadians are drawn to France for all those reasons, with over a million of us visiting in 2015 (the last year for which final figures are available).

In aviation news, Air France will be offering as many as 33 flights a week from YVR, YYZ and YUL. This includes the service on its new B787 Dreamliner on Montreal/Paris flights starting May 1. And the carrier continues to show its innovative spirit by introducing a shuttle bus service between Quebec City (Ste Foy to be exact) and YUL using a 52 seat coach with free WiFi.

Events in Paris this year include the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris, the opening of an Yves St. Laurent Museum and important art exhibits of works by Robin, Pissarro and Vermeer.

To round out the evening, Atout France hosts announced its 2017 Awards:  Product of the Year/France going to Jean Martel in French Canada and Planet France in English Canada, and Product of the Year/Paris won by Vacances Air Transat in French Canada and Globus in English Canada.

Félicitations, all!





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