TORONTO — Industry partners got the low-down on France at Atout France’s ‘Know-How in France’ event at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel.
With Tudor Alexis, Consul general of France, in attendance, last night’s event highlighted several of France’s top destinations for this market.
Mélanie Paul-Hus, Director of Atout France in Canada, says 15 million visitors were welcomed in 2018 by the 2,000 companies of France’s ‘Entreprise et découverte’ network. “Fashion and textiles, cosmetics and well-being, agriculture and gastronomy, crafts, wines and spirits, the offer is varied and interesting, and they can be found everywhere in France,” she said.
Lift to France from Canada includes Air Canada’s flights, now serving six destinations in France: Paris (year round), Lyon (year round), Bordeaux (seasonal), Marseille (seasonal), Nice (seasonal) and, from 2020, Toulouse (year round).
The French overseas regions of Martinique and Guadeloupe islands also benefit from year round flights, she added.
Air Canada’s Montreal-Toulouse service starts June 4, 2020 on A330-300s with 292 seats.
More highlights from last night’s event include …
. Gastronomy in the spotlight in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes: The opening of Lyon’s first Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie last October has already generated a lot of interest, says Paul-Hus. A new gourmet offer, the Vallée de la Gastronomie, stretching from Dijon to Marseille, has also been announced. The route crosses a large part of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes territory. Between vineyards, orchards and local producers, visitors will have access to hundreds of addresses and gourmet experiences.
. Les Menuires and Val Thorens are in the largest skiable area in the world, Les Trois Vallées, says Paul-Hus. Ski enthusiasts can perfect their skills and multiply their recreational experiences from December to April, on nearly 600 kilometres of slopes, surrounded by the beauty of the French Alps. For anyone who dreams of discovering Nordic skiing at night, the ESF (French Ski school) des Menuires has created L’Étoilée hike, a gentle evening hike (272 m of altitude difference) that allows participants to climb to the Refuge du Lac du Lou. In Val Thorens, seven high mountain guides have created off piste outings, Premiers pas sur un glacier (First steps on a glacier), with a unique gateway to the Vanoise glaciers. Unforgettable ski resort, Val d’Isère, another huge area at the heart of French Alps, offers from 300 km of pleasure for ski holidays. Hôtel le Yule, in addition to its Spa Nuxe, will have a paramedical technical centre offering tailor-made training and care from Dec. 1.
. Brittany: With diversions as diverse as oyster farming, to fashion, to sailing, Brittany is “a legendary destination with living traditions,” says Paul-Hus. The Brest International Maritime Festivals, held once every four years, takes place in 2020. More than 1,000 boats will converge in the bay
. Atlantic Loire Valley: Perfect for epicureans, the Loire Valley Wine Routes are an immersion in the heart of the vineyards. At La Baule-Presqu’île de Guérande, the 2,000 hectares of salt marshes reveal new landscapes, says Paul-Hus.
. Martinique: The French Caribbean island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the birthplace of coffee in the New World and The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire), says Paul-Hus. As an overseas region of France, Martinique also boasts unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, some 130 kilometres of hiking trails, waterfalls and more.