Why use the Tourism Office?

11 November 2019
The Quebec Association of Convention Professionals is a network of qualified organisations and actors who are experts in the field of business conventions and events, hotel infrastructure and tourist attractions in their respective regions. These business tourism professionals are front line advisors who can provide you with free support for your event organisation.
Tourism offices are an integral part of this network, as they are destination specialists. Their role involves knowing what is new in their region, activity options, meeting room or hotel room capacity, etc. With this in mind, it should be a natural reflex to contact the regional tourism office for more information when planning business events. This is a free, one-stop-shop service where you can get information about the region. While these offices are experts, unfortunately contacting them is not always the first reflex.
“I’m still surprised that there is resistance to working with tourism offices,” noted Marina Pellerin, Commercial Delegate with Tourisme Rimouski. “In fact, once an event is too big for a single site, people are hesitant about contacting us for support. In a region like Rimouski, when there are large events, all hotels and partners have to contribute.”
Mrs. Pellerin remembers a major event that took place in her region a couple of years ago. “The clients were sceptical about participation as they had never been farther than Quebec City for their annual convention. But, after the event, they noted the difference between a convention where participants are left to fend for themselves (usually in larger cities) and one where the tourism office participates (often in regional destinations). We can do so much for clients; we know our region by heart, know who to call, what to do and how to do it. There are many benefits to working together. All we want is for people to have fun in our region.”

Marina Pellerin, Commercial Delegate with Tourisme Rimouski

Hesitant or poorly informed?

But if the tourism office is a regional specialist and its goal to welcome and serve clients, why is it not a natural reflex to work with it? We talked to Annie Léveillée from Tourisme Outaouais about this. “Often, clients are not aware of what we can do for them. We can save serious time for event organisers, as they won’t have to contact all the hotels to get quotes. A delegate can do the work for them,” noted Mrs. Léveillée.

Annie Léveillée, Commercial Delegate with Tourisme Outaouais.
She concluded with a hypothesis: “Perhaps organisers believe they can maintain a degree of control over their event when dealing directly with hotels, better bargaining power. But it’s not the case. My role is to ensure that the event takes place in my region. I want it to work. I know the hotels, the number of rooms, capacity, pricing and I also know my client’s needs. I can offer them the best options, what is best for their event.”
Mrs. Annick Gariépy, who organises about a dozen events a year for lawyer associations who are members of the Quebec Bar Association, can understand why some event organisers don’t have the reflex to refer to tourism offices in the region where their event will take place. “Sometimes, the choice of a spot in a given region is so clear that I can understand the added value of working with them.”
“However, if I take my last major event as an example, many locations met our needs for our convention, and Tourisme Outaouais helped us align our hotel and meeting room choices. I think that is a major benefit getting feedback from the tourism office when there are many great options. They are in a position to provide pertinent information and help us make an informed choice.”

Corinne Thomas, Chargée d’Affaires with the Ordre des arpenteurs-géomètres du Québec
For her part, Mrs. Corinne Thomas, who supervises the organisation of the Ordre des artpenteurs-géomètres du Quebec‘s annual convention, admits that on the face of it, Rimouski wasn’t a destination she was targeting for her convention. But when attending an event where the Rimouski Convention Centre and Tourisme Rimouski were present, she became very interested after seeing their presentation about the region and what it has to offer. This led to further discussions to validate if the project was feasible.
“We were very hesitant at the start because the destination was farther away from our normal destinations,” admitted Mrs. Thomas. “But I was won over by the chemistry and teamwork between the convention centre and Tourisme Rimouski. We decided to go to visit the installations. Once again, everyone was present, and in addition to visiting the locations, Tourisme Rimouski had already drawn up activity scenarios and visits in the region during the convention. During the visit, we were able to see firsthand the high-quality client service and proactive approach the team used, which eventually helped us make the decision to go to Rimouski.”
Mrs. Thomas, like many other event organisers, must get their location choices and decisions approved before reserving. “I had to sell my 2018 Rimouski convention idea to the administrators at the Ordre. Having visited the installations and meeting with key people in the region allowed me to understand the benefits of the destination, a broad understanding of the product, and ultimately ability to make an informed decision. For me, easy contact with key actors and service quality assurances through teamwork in a region are determining factors when choosing a destination. If the tourism office is involved, as a planner you feel that it will make life easier. They go beyond your needs and propose ideas.”
Annick Gariépy held her last convention at Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau. She has fond memories of her collaboration with Tourisme Outaouais.

Annick Gariépy, Professional Quality Lawyer with the Quebec Bar Association
“It was beneficial working with Tourisme Outaouais during our last event. They provided us with quotes and helped us understand what the region has to offer. What motivates us to choose a region when organising an event to getting the information quickly, which helps us save time. Tourism offices anticipate my needs and facilitate my work. They also provide me with an overview of what is going on in their region, know what is new, and of course, I don’t have to contact all the hotels and establishments myself.”
In conclusion, Marina Pellerin affirmed: “Tourism offices constantly update their repertories and know what’s new in their region. In the end, the client comes out a winner. I believe that in business tourism, the client is the most important actor, and you have to work together to provide them with the best service possible. If they are satisfied, they’ll come back.”
Using the strength of the QACP means touring Quebec and maximising your event’s success!

Go to for more details.

Ginette Bardou
General Manager
Telephone: 1-888-969-1307
[email protected]



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