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A Solid African Presence at Montreal's International Travel and Tourism Show
by Denis Dionne

Canada's Quebec Province hosted the World Ecotourism Summit - now get ready for a powerful encore! Once again, winter is coming to Montréal, and travel to sun destinations is bound to follow. From October 25 to 27 the International Tourism and Travel Show will be held in downtown Montréal's impressive Place Bonaventure. This exciting event, one of the most important in North America, attracts over 20,000 visitors annually. A specialty of the show is the fact that the first night (Friday) is reserved for the travel trade, as hundreds of travel professionals gather to 'network' and make business deals. This large, multi-faceted show is the year's hottest opportunity to present new products and destinations in a key area of the North American market. Every year, dozens of countries are represented by tourism officials and many businesses from abroad make their way to Montréal to participate.

Place Bonaventure,
Montreal, Canada, Oct 2005

Africa's Opportunity to Shine
Many African countries have chosen Montréal to launch new promotions or pay a regular visit. Internationally, Montreal has a great reputation as a bilingual city and number one centre of Francophone culture in the Americas. This year once again, Africa will be well represented. The Republic of Sénégal will be represented by Mr Paté Guye, Director for the
Sénégal Tourist Office in New York. According to His Excellency Amadou Diallo, the newly appointed Ambassador of Sénégal to Canada, local embassy staff will also invite Canadians to visit their beautiful country. There is even talk of the Tourism Minister of Sénégal being present. Sénégal is not a first time visitor at the show and has shown its interest in the Canadian market for many years.

Africa Travel Magazine's editor Jerry W. Bird received notice from the Office of Tourism for Guinea advising that a delegation of Ministry officials and tour operators from that attractive West African country will be participating. We will provide more details and names soon.

Long time participants in the show are North African nations such as Morocco, whose exhibit is located in the Mediterranean section. this is especially timely, since the Morocco National Office of Tourism and the Africa Travel Association are hosting the ATA 6th Cultural & Ecotourism Symposium in Fez, December 8 to 13, 2002. Mr Abdel Ghani Ragala, General Manager of the Morocco National Tourism Office in Montréal has confirmed his country's presence and general literature will be available. Tunisia will also be at the show with a strong presence as confirmed in a recent conversation with Mr Khaled Cheikh, Manager of the Canadian office of the Tunisia National Tourism Board.

Also long time exhibitor, Egypt in addition of tourism representatives will offer cultural participation with the dance group "LALA HAKIM" on Saturday October 26th at 4:15 P.M. on the central stage. Kenya has yet to confirm its participation, but their visibility has recently be upgraded with the nomination of "Discover the World Marketing" of Toronto as official representatives for Canada. Angola, a first time visitor at the show, will be represented by its Embassy and presence of the Tourism Minister has been confirmed.

Another long time visitor and one particularly interested in this market, is Tanzania, represented by its Embassy and Tanzania National Parks, who will answer all questions and help show visitors discover this marvellous country. Tanzania, a traditionally strong supporter of the Africa Travel Association, will this year again invite Canadians to their fascinating landscape and depict the safari tradition of the country.

This years, Africa will again be well represented, even if some improvements need to be done. Very nice projects are under way and the next edition in 2003 will certainly be a very good one for Africa. I invite you to visit this interesting show where safaris, cultural and ecotourism will be presented. In addition to Africa, dozens more countries will participate. I hope this show will be memorable for you, it is certainly an official rendezvous for me.

Good show

Denis Dionne
Africa Travel Magazine's Official Correspondent
based in Montréal


Photos countesy of Tourisme Quebec and Aeroports de Montréal