Seizing the Day! Meeting the Challenges of Francophone Tourism in relation to the Health Crisis

To mark its 5th anniversary, The Francophone and Francophile Cities Network is pleased to propose you to watch the free virtual panel discussion that has occurred on November 9th 2020. Organised by the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques and bringing together renowned experts, this panel discusses the current issues and challenges facing francophone tourism. Watch the panel and discover the opportunity the health crisis can represent for francophone tourism to distinguish itself and stand out from the crowd.

Note: Event is in French with simultaneous English translation

Conference Summary
The current health crisis is having a major impact on tourism, and this will likely be the case for years to come. However, for francophone tourism, it also represents an opportunity. Thanks to its unique cultural character and destination proximity, francophone tourism is an interesting alternative to mainstream, mass tourism. Nonetheless, industry stakeholders face several challenges to be able to seize this opportunity. Through presentations of various experiences and panelist discussions, we explore these challenges as well as the solutions that will allow francophone tourism to thrive.

Mohamed Reda Khomsi
École des sciences de la gestion (ESG UQAM), Montréal (Québec)

Mohamed Reda Khomsi holds a doctorate in urban studies and a master’s degree in tourism planning and management from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), as well as a graduate diploma in services marketing from the Université La Rochelle, in France. Mr. Khomsi is currently Director of graduate studies in tourism, and Professor/Researcher in the department of urban studies and tourism at the École des sciences de la gestion de l’UQAM. The courses he teaches focus on destination governance, tourism event management, the link between culture and tourism, as well as the use of technologies to enhance the tourist experience. In addition, Mr. Khomsi is co-editor-in-chief of the tourism industry research magazine Téoros and, since 2015, as a member of Groupe de recherche et d’intervention en tourisme territoire et société (GRITTS), he has been leading a research program on Quebec’s attractions and events.

François Bédard
World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED), Montréal (Québec)

François Bédard has over 40 years’ experience in the tourism industry, as an academic, executive, and international consultant. Dr. Bédard is currently Director of the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED), a position he has held since the centre was created in 2007 with the support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Dr. Bédard is also an Associate Professor in the department of urban studies and tourism at the École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM). His areas of expertise include destination management, tourist enterprise management as well new technologies for the service industry.

Joseph Dunn
Louisiana Perspectives, New Orleans (Louisiana)

Descended from French colonists who arrived in New Orleans in the mid-18th century, Joseph Dunn has worked in the cultural tourism industry for more than 20 years. His ideas and perspectives are constantly evolving, not unlike the complex identities of other Louisianians of Francophone descent. He is particularly interested in projects that focus on the social, professional and economic valorisation of Louisiana French and/ or Creole speakers of all ages. Joseph dreams of the creation of a franco-créo ecosystem linking educational efforts at all levels to the job market.

David Guimont
Living Lab en innovation ouverte (LLio), Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)

David Guimont is Co-Coordinator and Facilitator/Researcher at Living Lab in open innovation (LLio) at the Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup (Québec), a role he has held since 2013. His core expertise conducting research in open innovation is put to excellent use at LLio, a college research centre specialized in this field. LLio’s mission is to facilitate the adoption and transfer of open innovation practices, particularly those involving end users. Mr. Guimont also acts as Project Manager for LLio’s research mandates, planning and leading Living Lab projects and Design Thinking endeavors. He is also an active member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and Francophonie Living Labs. In addition, Mr. Guimont develops and teaches courses in facilitation, collaborative innovation, and Design Thinking.

Amélie Lajoie
École des sciences de la gestion (ESG UQAM), Montréal (Québec)

For over 15 years, Amélie Lajoie has worked as a Human Resources Manager in the high-tech sector. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in human resources management from ESG UQÀM, Amélie also holds a diploma in tourism from ITHQ. Going back to her original passion, she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in tourism development and is a Research Associate at the Groupe de recherche et d’intervention en tourisme territoire et société (GRITTS). Her research focuses mainly on enhancing the value of identity tourism of Canadian francophone minorities.

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