French Ambassador’s Travel Awards 2019
Atout France organises the 5th edition of the Ambassador’s Travel Awards in Mumbai.
Mumbai, 21 November 2019
Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency organized one of its flagship events, the Ambassador’s Travel Awards in Mumbai on 21st November in the resplendent setting of The Chambers, Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Mumbai.
These awards were instated in 2015 under the high patronage of the Ambassador of France to India and powered by VFS Global for all its subsequent editions. This year for the first time, the awards received an added impetus with the collaboration of the Reunion Island Tourism Board.
The objective behind the awards is to recognise and reward a selection of travel agents across India for their exemplary efforts in promoting France from the perspectives of destination showcase, and visa issuance, as well as the prolific penmanship of a journalist who, through articles, has essayed a versatile presentation of destination France.
For the first time this year, a new category of awards was introduced to reward the best showcase of France’s overseas departments.
The event was also a perfect platform for presenting the vibrant music of Reunion Island as invited guests were treated to an entertaining performance from the JF Gang, a group of talented musicians, who had flown in all the way from Reunion Island for the occasion.
- Diamond Award- Winner for the tour operator registering the highest number of visa issuances
Winner: Thomas Cook India Ltd
Prize: A 2-night stay for 2 at the Novotel Goa Resort & Spa by courtesy of Accor.
- Gold Award - Best Showcase of France as a MICE destination
Winner: SOTC Travel Ltd
Prize: A 2-night sojourn for 2 in Northern France including: a 2-night stay at the Hotel Tiara Mont Royal, entrance tickets for two at the Château de Chantilly Domaine by courtesy of Northern France Regional Tourism Board.
- Diamond Award - Best Showcase of France as an Alpine destination
Winner: Panache World
Prize: A getaway for 2 in the Courchevel ski resort, including: a 2-night stay at Hotel Barrière Les Neiges, by courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World.
- Platinum Award - Best Showcase of France’s Overseas Departments
Winner: Erawan Travels
Prize: A weeklong stay in Reunion Island, by courtesy of Reunion Island Tourism Board, and 2 tickets on Air Austral.
- Platinum Award - Most Innovative Showcase of France as a Travel Destination
Winner: Original Senses
Prize: A business class ticket on Air France to Paris, 2-night stay for 2 at the Plaza Athénée, Paris, by courtesy of Dorchester Collection, a 2-night stay for two in Deauville at Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy by courtesy of InDeauville Tourist Office.
Best Journalist Award
Ms Karen Anand: Independent Travel Writer
Prize: A business class ticket to Paris on Air France, 2 nights for 2 at the Sofitel Le Scribe by courtesy of Accor, and 2 nights for 2 at Fauchon l’Hotel by courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World.
Sharing her thoughts, Ms Sheetal Munshaw - Director Atout France, said, "The Ambassador’s Travel Award event has gone from strength to strength in the last few years and assumed a pan-India dimension, which gives our efforts at showcasing France an added boost. Our source markets have now diversified to include many more cities across the country, which indicates a lot of potential for France. A special mention must be made of all our partners who have generously sponsored our awards by graciously offering sojourns in France and India to our winners. This year, in addition to the continued support we’ve been receiving from VFS Global since the inception of the awards in 2015, we are also extremely pleased to have on board Reunion Island Tourism Board as our partner. Our alliance since October 2018 for showcasing the island and its multi-faceted touristic offering has been a mutually successful one and we are confident that next year will reap in great results for La Réunion.”
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 5th edition of the Ambassador’s Travel Awards this evening. This platform is an opportune one to announce that in 2018, France received a staggering 89.3 million visitors to its shores including more 600 000 Indian visitors.
The Ambassador’s Travel Awards were instated in 2015 with the objective of recognising and rewarding a selection of travel agents for their tireless contribution to promoting tourism to France through itineraries showcased and efforts made in the domain of visas. Each year, the itineraries showcased the very best of France’s vibrant destinations, experiences and its omnipresent art de vivre. This year, making a selection was complex thanks to the great quality of candidatures received. Each itinerary essayed an indepth showcase of France and unique experiences that instantly create an aspiration to travel. A special mention must also be made of the media, which have extended their unwavering support to us in the promotion of France through their descriptive articles in travel and lifestyle magazines, which have transformed readers into travellers. And tonight, our media category awards has identified the prolific penmanship of one such writer. Tourism remains a priority and we remain committed as the Embassy of France to facilitating travel to our country and supporting Atout France and the Indian travel fraternity.
I thank you all for being here tonight and wish you a very pleasant evening with us.