Travel Trade Journal
Atout France’s B2B alpine showcase ‘Grand Ski’ has a new avatar in ‘Destination MontagnesGrand Ski’
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.”