French Affairs Overview 2014
Devised by Atout France USA in 2003, this event was attended by 62 tour operators from the United States, Canada and Mexico, and 55 French partners, 28 of them from the Paris region. Its goal is to optimise synergies between American tour operators offering France as a destination and French tourism professionals, through a number of different networking activities and business meetings.
The fact that almost half of the French contingent was made up of professionals from the Paris region demonstrates how important this rapidly expanding market is to our destination: a 7% increase in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The region's second largest international market, the American market generated more than €1.7 billion in tourism revenue in 2013.
Visit Paris Region was in the spotlight throughout this event:
- Plenary session:
During the plenary session, a presentation was made to all participants (exhibitors and tour operators) about the destination Paris Region. Lead by Anne Laure Tuncer, Director of the Atout France USA office, it allowed the two speakers – François Navarro, Managing Director of the Paris Region Tourist Board and Nicolas Lefebvre, Managing Director of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau – to highlight the diversity of the region's offering, its constant renewal, and the work carried out to make visitors feel welcome and improve services. The numerous questions from the floor following the presentation demonstrated the tour operators' interest and allowed the presenters to respond to queries on the quality of the region's hospitality.
- Welcome evening:
This was based on the theme "we are free, merci" launched during the Paris Region Tourist Board's New York operation in April, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris. Its aim was to thank the Americans for coming to France's aid in difficult times, and to show them everything that present-day Paris has to offer: archive images, song-and-dance numbers and a jazz atmosphere interspersed with a montage of extremely beautiful photos of our region in all its glory took participants on a journey from the end of the Second World War to the present day.
The workshop was split into two parts: a reverse workshop and a workshop with pre-scheduled appointments.
This event allowed the Paris Region Tourist Board to respond to questions from 37 tour operators who had all received the new Professional Guide to the Paris Region Destination 2015-2016.
As a follow-up to this activity, a dedicated VisitParisRegion e-newsletter was sent to the entire Atout France USA trade database, i.e. to more than 25,000 contacts (travel agents and tour operators), and the Paris region presentation made at the plenary session will be available on the Atout France website for a year.