From March 18 to April 9, IAT Quebec Director Eric Chouinard travelled to France to meet with officials of the FFRP (Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre) to conclude an agreement on IAT Quebec's entry into Europe's Grande Randonnée (GR) network of long-distance footpaths, and to represent the IAT-QC at tourism fairs specialized in hiking and nature tourism in Lyon and Paris. Since September 2011, the FFRP are IAT partners in France.
The GR agreement was signed by FFRP Chairperson Mrs. Claude Hüe and later publicly announced at the tourism fair in Paris. A joint press release was sent to French and Quebec media in collaboration with Tourisme Québec. A 45-minute conference to a full house helped promote the entire trail, including its infrastructure, hiking services and guided tours.
There are stories about the agreement on the i-trekkings website and FFRP website. Other media promotions will be organized in the coming months, including articles in the FFRP magazine Passion Rando and the next edition of Geo Plein Air magazine.
Plans next call for a working meeting to be held with the President and Vice-President of FFRP to work out details of an October 3rd, 2014 inauguration at Forillon. A 14-day group trip with 150 members of the FFRP has been postponed until autumn 2015.
As regards the trip to France, IAT-QC Director Chouinard considers it to be very positive overall, including the tourism trade fairs where the audience is their main target for hikers who travel across Europe and the world to explore and look for the most beautiful sites and natural attractions to be discovered.
In terms of traffic, the Lyon Fair welcomed 13,158 people, while Paris welcomed 63,000 and Rennes, 7100. Despite the difference in traffic between the three shows, the quality of the events was similar.
While in France, Eric also had the opportunity to meet with several FFRP walking club officials, journalists, and companies specializing in hiking and tour packages that hope to develop trips to Quebec.
For more on the trip to France and the GR agreement, visit the IAT Quebec website.
For more on IAT Quebec, take a pleasant walk to the end of their trail at Forillon!