Destination Quebec and six of its partners invited Vancouver travel media to lunch at the Blue Water Café on April 21 for an afternoon of interviews and presentations.
Sitting down with PAX, Gillian Hall, who handles media relations for Destination Quebec said “I want [our guests] to take away a sense of “Wow, I didn’t know all of these things.”
According to Hall, 14 of the province’s 22 tourist regions are actively involved in the industry, promoting a wide range of product that ranges from urban to wilderness experiences all centred around Quebec’s uniquely French culture.
She also addressed the misconception that non-French speakers would have a difficult time travelling the province. “They all speak English and if they don’t they certainly try,” she noted. “Quebec is known for its joie de vivre and that’s truly what they’re all about: their love of life, their love of food, their love of people.”
Asked for a favourite Quebec experience, Hall could not single out just one. She mentioned the four-season nature of the Laurentians – skiing in winter and cycling the 226-kilometre Chemin du Terroir route in summer; following the wine routes through the Eastern Townships, and the Flavour Trail in Charlevoix; whale-watching along the St. Lawrence; and the more than 500 festivals around the province every year, singling out the Quebec City’s Winter Carnival and New France Festival.
Destination Quebec Partners
Le Monastère des Augustines offers a unique wellness experience within the birthplace of the first hospital on the continent north of Mexico. Established in 1639, the historic wings of the Hôtel-Dier de Québec house 33 rooms restored in the spirit of monasticism, plus 32 contemporary rooms. There is a museum that traces the development of medical thought and practice; a daily health and wellness program, boutique, archive centre and restaurant.
Le Québec Maritime Regional Tourist Association represents Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and Iles de la Madeleine. The area boasts 3,000 kilometres of coastline, 45 lighthouses, 13 species of whale, 15 national parks and wild reserves, hundreds of islands and a unique maritime cuisine. Touring routes include the Gaspesie tour; the Whale Route and the Lighthouse Trail.
Québec City boasts more than 400 years of history, and a very Old World charm found along the winding streets of its UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town. Other must-sees include the city’s fortifications, the Plains of Abraham, Ile d’Orléans and Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine. Wendake offers a window into aboriginal culture, while a drive along the Chemin du Roy is a trip along Canada’s oldest highway, built in 1737.
The Eastern Townships offer “New England Charm with a Québec Flair." The region, about an hour’s drive from Montreal, is famous for its vineyards, regional produce and farm-to-table restaurants and spas. The Wine Route stops at 21 vineyards for tastings and tours; The Townships Trail follows the footsteps of Loyalists, Scots and Irish settlers through 31 municipalities; and the Summit Drive is a rollercoaster drive around the province’s highest mountains.
The four-season Laurentians have 12 ski centres, including Tremblant, Nordic spas, 1,055 kilometres of cross-country trails, 2,709 kilometres of snowmobile trails and, in summer, 40 golf courses, as well as Mont-Tremblant National Park, the longest linear park in Canada.
The Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region sits 210 kilometres of Québec City and is home to a rich Francophone cultural heritage, four national parks, the Véloroute des Bleuets, cycling route, the 100-kilometre Saguenay Fjord, the southernmost navigable fjord in North America and Lake Saint-Jean, a huge inland lake with 210 kilometres of sandy shoreline surrounded by wild blueberry fields.