Travel Trade Journal

Atout France’s B2B alpine showcase ‘Grand Ski’ has a new avatar in ‘Destinatio­n MontagnesG­rand Ski’

- Team TTJ

On the eve of Grand Ski’s 30th anniversar­y, Atout France and its partners introduced an enhanced and holistic version of the French alpine tourism offering with a rebranding of Grand Ski to ‘Destinatio­n Montagnes-Grand Ski’. Its first virtual edition was organized in the last week of March for buyers worldwide.

Taking place in January annually in a pre-pandemic world, the Grand Ski was an opportune meeting ground for travel agents and French profession­als specializi­ng in winter tourism to meet and further develop winter holidays in France. Typically, this 2-day workshop included pre and/or post familiariz­ation tours for visiting agents to experience firsthand the diverse array of the French winter tourism offering available in France’s eclectic collection of ski resorts.

While services offered by the French massifs for winter tourism still constitute the core of Destinatio­n Montagnes- Grand Ski’ for an internatio­nal audience, the key stakeholde­rs are also keen, especially in the current context, to offer their clients, a 360-degree experience of the mountains. Thus, alongside winter services traditiona­lly promoted at the workshop, a whole range of outdoor activities, events, and even new accommodat­ion options available during the summer were also highlighte­d. This shift also takes into account the growing aspiration of travellers to enjoy authentic experience­s responsibl­y and throughout the 4 seasons in the French Alps.

Keeping in mind the current crisis and the closure of borders, this event was transforme­d into a 100 percent virtual edition that took place from 23rd-26th March. A total of 150 French suppliers representi­ng different verticals of the alpine tourism offering engaged with 465 internatio­nal tour operators and travel agents from 59 different source markets which included 15 agents pan India. A total of 9000 online meetings were planned during the 4 days of this event.

Barbara Breheret, representa­tive to India, Regional Tourism Board of Auvergne Rhone Alpes, shares her thoughts “Our most popular French ski resorts have certainly charmed the Indian travel trade as we see a growing number of Indian delegates regularly being part of this showcase. Our meetings this year were a culminatio­n of a shared enthusiasm to work together as soon as possible, many convivial moments of interactio­n and a very profession­al contractin­g setup. The French Alps are not only for skiers but are also a huge winter and summer playground with over 50 activities available with or without ski-lifts”.

Amit Gilani, Founder Travel Butler, who was part of the Indian virtual delegation said, “This virtual event had the perfect mix of old and new suppliers on a seamless platform. The networking opportunit­y afforded to us was tremendous and we look forward to more of these perfectly executed virtual roadshows.”

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