Brad Ford, Contiki; Tony Celio, Air Canada; Laura Pena, ETC / Embassy of Spain; Jeff Element, The Travel Corporation; Doug Patterson, Trafalgar; Cris David, Insight Vacations
Pre presentation cocktail hour and mingling.
Lionel Lionel Ansermet, Switzerland Tourism
Alegria Narvaez & Laura Pena, Embassy of Spain
Maurizio Mazzola & Rares Dumitru, Trafalgar
Hot & cold buffet featuring a variety of European food.
“63% of international
tourist arrivals take place in Europe," said Laura Pena, Chairwoman for the European Tourism Commission in
Canada. “It's the world's #1 tourist destination and the 3
rd most important destination for Canadians after
the U.S. and China." Visitor numbers have been growing steadily for the past
decade and the upward trajectory is expected to continue for years to come,
There's no doubt that the
facts and figures are impressive, but what is it exactly about this multi faceted destination that commands such a
strong allure? From the discovery of ancient history and ancestral roots, the
majestic landscapes and sunny skies, to haute couture shopping and riveting
sport, Europe really does awaken the senses and offers its visitors a full
spectrum of experiences. And the food, oh the food! If nothing else, go for the
Food was the main topic of
discussion recently when The Travel Corporation, in collaboration with the ETC
hosted an evening of wining and dining at Toronto's Casa Loma. Agents had the
opportunity to chat with a few of the ETC member countries, catch up on new
product, and learn a bit about the influence that food
has on making each European destination so unique.
In Italy this year, Milan
will showcase itself to the world with Expo 2015. From May 1
st to October 31st events will focus on the theme Feeding the Planet,
Energy for Life
which explores technology, innovation, culture and
traditions and how they relate to food and diet.
Culture and tradition is the
theme in Germany this year as well, which of course can be explored through the
country's many culinary specialties. Have you heard of or ever tried
Currywurst? It's a popular dish in Berlin with its very own museum. And here's
a tip for travellers who make their way to Cologne to taste the local Köln - keep your coaster on your glass to avoid
unexpected refills and an inflated bill!
Those looking to try their
hand at pouring a pint or 2 should visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
where they can learn some proper techniques and the history behind the stout.
With festivals, food trails and cooking schools throughout the region, there is
every opportunity to experience the local, fresh ingredients that Ireland has to offer.
“Gastronomy is key to our
destination and way of life," said Pena, who also spoke on behalf of Spain this
evening. Aside from the many Michelin starred
restaurants and the award winning food prepared by famed chefs such as Ferran
Adria and Sergi Arola, the simple act of going out for tapas with friends and
family is a social habit throughout the region.
And finally, adding a
Switzerland stay to any European itinerary is completely feasible thanks to its
central location. The
Grand Tour takes travellers to mountain tops,
down to the lakes and through quaint little
towns. At the end of the
Tour gather around the table to try some
fondue. According to Lionel Ansermet of Switzerland Tourism, it's a very social
meal as people eat from a shared plate, so strike up a conversation and make
some new friends.
Europe lends itself very
well to immersion experiences and The Travel Corporation's coach tour brands
are experts at making it happen. From the youth oriented Contiki
no regrets adventures,
the couples and family focused Trafalgar
Insider Experiences and the
Signature Experiences available through Insight Vacations, travellers are
sure to feel their senses come alive..