Students in their second year of the Bilingual Tourism Program, a partnership of Cegeps Limoilou and Champlain-St. Lawrence, had the opportunity to participate in the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show in Canada’s National Capital on March 28 and 29, 2015. This 21st edition took place at the Shaw Centre (formally the Ottawa Convention Centre), and was open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm both days.
The Students’ Participation
Students’ participation in the trade show was related to three courses, Promotional Activities, Performing Sales in Tourism and Integrated Marketing Communications. During the event students were in charge of a booth representing the Quebec City Region as a tourist destination. They were responsible for communicating information to the visitors using brochures, maps, the Quebec City Region mobile application, as well as flyers that they had developed themselves prior to the event. Other promotional items were made available for the event from the Quebec City Tourism Office (Office du tourisme de Quebec).
The students were well-prepared for this event thanks to the hands-on training they receive in their program. Such as, using selling techniques and communicating the extensive knowledge about the Quebec City area that students have acquired during their past two years of study in the program. A course dedicated to teaching students about customer service and welcoming visitors for the tourism industry, prepared students for their approach with visitors and customer service skills.
The Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show
Known as “The best travel show Canada produces”, this year brought 17, 300 visitors who were looking for information to help them prepare for their next trip. The travel show presented more than 200 exhibitors, representing over 50 countries. A wide range of industry examples were represented, such as culinary demonstrations, cruises CTMA, Travac Tours, Air Transat, Transat Holidays. Visitors could also take advantage of presentations offered by experts in the industry.
The Bilingual Tourism Program
The “Techniques de tourisme” is a 3-year program that began in 2001. A partnership between Cegeps Limoilou and Champlain - St. Lawrence provide half of the program specific courses in English, as well as a full year of study at Cegep Champlain - St. Lawrence. The program provides students with many experiences in the tourism industry, including internships in the final semester of study.