/R E P E A T -- Tourism innovation and excellence recognized at the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois/

MONTREAL, March 27, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Tonight, the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois for the Montréal region were awarded in the Windsor Ballroom. Fifteen tourism industry professionals were recognized for their service excellence and innovation in the development of their products or services. Ms. Suzanne Giguère Deputy Minister for tourism and Ms. Élaine Ayotte, Councillor for the borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and City of Montréal Executive Committee Member responsible for culture, heritage and design, were both in attendance at this highly anticipated tourism industry event.

Mr. Jacques Parisien, Chairman of the Tourisme Montréal Board of Directors, and the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal, presided over this festive event. Over the course of the gala evening hosted by Rebecca Makonnen, guests had the opportunity to share and exchange ideas during a cocktail reception and were treated to a performance by the popular Québec duo, Alfa Rococo.

For the last 27 years, the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois has showcased the dedication, effort and dynamism of businesses operating in the tourism sector, whose outstanding performance contributes to Montréal's strong reputation as an exceptional destination.

"If the city gains in popularity, it is partly due to our local tourism industry representatives whose talent and creativity really set them apart on the world stage. Passionate about their work, these professionals contribute to the warm welcome of millions of visitors each year by offering top-quality services", stated the Honourable Charles Lapointe. "I wish to extend my most sincere congratulations to all participants and winners of this 27th edition!"

This year, the highest distinction of the Grand Prix du tourisme québécois, the Grand Ulysse prize, was awarded to Ms. Francine Lelièvre, Founder and General Manager of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. The only archaeology museum of its kind in Canada, it ranks among the most popular in Québec, welcoming over 400,000 visitors last year alone.

In only 20 years, this unique museum has garnered no less than 78 awards of excellence, 14 of which were of international mention. Its notoriety is such that prestigious institutions the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Vatican and the Tokyo National Museum are regular partners to the museum. Driven by Ms. Lelièvre, an innovative, daring and determined administrator, the museum has provided the Québec population with access to over 85 world-class exhibitions.

Pointe-à-Callière, which opened to highlight Montréal's 350th anniversary, will be experiencing incredible momentum as the city prepares to celebrate its 375th anniversary. In 2017, four sites will join the six existing spaces in the actual complex to form the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex. An iconic Old Montréal location, this establishment is undeniably a vitally distinctive element in Montréal's tourist offering.

Winners of the Grands Prix du tourisme 2013 for the Montréal region:

Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of less than $300,000
International Freeski Film Festival (iF3)

Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of between $300,000 and $1 million
Montreal Chamber Music Festival

Festivals and tourism events - operating budget of more than $1 million 

Tourist attractions - between 25,000 and 100,000 visitors, presented by Air Canada
Snow Village Canada

Tourist attractions - 100,000 visitors and more
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Human resources - tourism Employee
Manon Gagnon - Montréal Space for Life

Human resources - emerging tourism professional
Maude Blaquière - Hôtel Nelligan

Ecotourism and adventure tourism, presented by Touché! Phd

Accommodations - bed and breakfasts
Au Cœur Urbain

Accommodations - less than 40 units
Snow Village Canada

Accommodations - 40 to 199 units, presented by Aéroports de Montréal
Le Saint-Sulpice Hôtel

Accommodations - 200 units or more, presented by the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Le Centre Sheraton

Tourism services
Local Montréal Tours

Tourism services - special jury mention (out of  competition)
Taxi Diamond

Honourable mention - eco-responsibility
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Grand Ulysse 2013
Ms. Francine Lelièvre, General Manager
Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History

Organized by Tourisme Montréal, this gala evening was classified as an eco-responsible event for the second consecutive year, and aims to attain BNQ 9700-253 level 3 certification. This initiative falls within the organization's overall green approach and practices.

Montréal regional winners now have the chance to become finalists at the provincial Grands Prix du tourisme québécois gala this coming May 14 in Gatineau. The provincial jury will select Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in 18 categories in addition to awarding the prestigious Tourism Personality of the Year award.

About Tourisme Montréal

Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the "Montréal" destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information, please visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.


For further information:

Alexandra Graveline
Manager - Corporate Public Relations Tourisme Montréal 514 844-3558
Cellular: 514 994-5639

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