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Montpellier: studious atmosphere at Rendez-vous in France

More than 23,000 business meetings over 2 days

The 11th edition of Rendez-Vous en France, organized by Atout France, ended on Wednesday in Montpellier, in a studious atmosphere. While the media focuses most of its coverage on the terrorist attacks, at the trade-fair, talks centered around production and business. In total, 23,400 meetings were set up over 2 days.

Rédigé par Anaïs Borios translated by Joséphine Foucher le Jeudi 7 Avril 2016

The 11th edition of the trade-fair organized by Atout France, gathered 740 exhibitors and close to 900 tour-operators of 73 different nationalities - DR : A.B.
The 11th edition of the trade-fair organized by Atout France, gathered 740 exhibitors and close to 900 tour-operators of 73 different nationalities - DR : A.B.
Guadeloupe Inside
Rendez-vous en France took place until 5pm on Wednesday April 6, 2016, in Montpellier. The 11th edition of the trade-fair organized by Atout France gathered 740 exhibitors and close to 900 tour operators of 73 different nationalities.

In total, “23,400 meetings were organized over 2 days” stated Philippe Faure, President of Atout France’s Board of Directors, during a press conference.

The number of participants is equivalent to that of the trade-fair organized 2 years ago in the Province (in 2015, it took place in Paris), which shows how interest for the France destination is still intact, despite the tragic events of the last few months.”

Questioned in the trade-fair’s alleys, both exhibitors and visitors didn’t raise any particular concerns around the Paris attacks.

Admittedly, for foreign TOs, the attacks had an impact on reservations. “We recorded a drop of order intakes in November until mid-December, explains Carlos Garcia, Marketing Director of the Spanish company Logitravel.

But the recovery took place in mid-December and the month of March 2016 was one of the year’s best month.”

Meet with a maximum of TOs over 2 days

In the Exhibitions Park of Pérols, in the south of Montpellier, the meetings took place back to back every 20 minutes. Grouped by regions, the exhibitors of the South East and West of France were in the spotlight right at the entrance.

The Paca region space, represented by a delegation of a hundred people, was always full. “It is a great way to meet a maximum of TOs over a short period of time and at a lesser cost,” comments Eric Doré, Executive Director of the Regional Tourism Committee (CRT) of the French Riviera.

The CRT also took advantage of the attendance of foreign TOs to organize 2 educational tours with Hungarian, Polish, and Azerbaijani operators, forming two groups of around fifteen people.

“It consisted mostly of new tour-operators, who are, a priori, well established in their countries, but who should enable to attract new clients, adds Eric Doré.

Other popular stands were those of airports. On the one for Toulouse Blagnac, Chantal Pitin, Development Manager, scheduled 11 meetings on Tuesday morning.

“The main question of TOs remains: “do you have direct flights from you region?” The trade-fair allows us to inform them on new flight openings. Because we must remember that most TOs work with groups of seniors.”

Last weekend, the airport set up a specific reception for the 180 TOs who came for an educational tour organized by the CRT.

Confusion around the new regions

In the 2nd hall, the space was reserved to the Paris region, as the primary region represented in the trade-fair.

“The organization was well done, confides Mohita Gupta Tessier, CEO of the Parisian incoming agency MGTC that specializes on India. There are mostly new TOs, but I find them less rigorous and less focused compared to last year.”

Despite the convenient layout of the trade-fair, this year there was confusion around the new regions… “We feel that some readjustment still needs to be done around the CRT,” explains Carlos Garcia.

The exhibitors now have one year to get with the program. In 2017, the trade-fair will take place in Rouen.

DR : A.B.
DR : A.B.
As she attended the trade-fair’s inauguration, Carole Delga, President of the Languedoc Roussillon Midi Pyrénées, shared her project for the Plan Littoral 21 that aims at “modernizing the port and touristic infrastructures” of the region.

The plan, that should be drawn out between now and June 2016, would enable the renovation of rental accommodations of the costal resorts, such as la Grande Motte, or to invest in the port infrastructures and in the preservation of the coasts.

The president of the region should soon be meeting with Louis Schweitzer, Chief Commissioner for Investment, to talk about funding.

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