MONTPELLIER — This week marks the 11th annual Rendez-vous en France trade fair and this year’s event is taking place in Monpellier in the Languedoc Roussillon Midi Pyrenees region. It’s the leading international B2B trade fair for tourism in France, hosted by Atout France in partnership with Air France with some 740 French companies exhibiting their products to 900+ travel professionals from 73 countries.
Over the last 25 years France has been the number one tourist destination in the world. In 2014 France hosted 83.8 million international arrivals. The World Tourism Organization predicts that international travel will double over the next 20 years to over two billion international travellers.
Mandated by the French government to promote France as a tourist destination, Atout France operates 32 offices across 27 countries, including its Canadian office located in Montreal headed by Director for Canada, Armelle Tardy-Joubert. Travel agents can contact the Montreal office by e-mail at Canada@atout.france.fr. or they can visit atout-france.fr. Information regarding France can also be obtained at france.fr, raileurope.com, airfrance.ca or the websites of the various regions of France.
The Canadian office organizes ‘Destination France’ events, typically in February, aimed at tour operators and travel agents featuring approximately 30 destinations and hotels from France. Various other travel events take place in Canadian cities throughout the year. On its website Atout France will soon be launching France’s latest information guide ‘Destination France, Cultural Attractiveness Passport’ which sets out some of the more important cultural events happening in France this year.
Tardy-Joubert points out that the continuing popularity of France with Canadian travellers is underscored by the fact that this year, Air Canada is doubling its daily seats out of Montreal to Paris from 450 to 900. It will also be starting five flights per week to Lyon. Air Canada rouge will be flying from Montreal to Nice.
Meanwhile Air Transat will double its flights from both Montreal and Toronto from one to two per day. It will also be increasing its flights from Toulouse from two per week to two per week.