|Sherbrooke, May 28, 2012 – The Eastern Townships won the lion’s share of awards at the 26th edition of Grand Prix du tourisme Québecois gala, garnering no fewer than 12 prizes!
The highest award at this prestigious, province-wide event - « Tourism Personality of the Year » - was given to Mr. André L’Espérance, owner of the Orford Express tourist train, Escapades Memphrémagog (the company operates Grand Cru, a luxury sightseeing ship and floating gourmet restaurant) and the Auberge Aux quatre saisons d’Orford, a country inn near the foot of Mont Orford.
With a dozen prizes in 19 categories, the Eastern Townships, in the sheer number of awards, beat out all the other regions of Quebec. Local tourism enterprises won four prix d’Or (gold category prizes), five prix d’Argent (silver category prizes) and three bronze category prizes.
The following is a list of the Eastern Townships winners:
GOLD CATEGORY PRIZE WINNERS
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: MORE THAN 100,000 VISITORS
ACCOMODATION: FEWER THAN 40 UNITS
ACCOMODATION: OUTFITTERS’ ACCOMMODATION
SILVER CATEGORY PRIZE WINNERS
REGIONAL PRODUCTS AND AGRITOURISM
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS : 25,000 - 100,000 visitors
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: OPERATING BUDGET OF UNDER $300,000
OUTDOOR, SPORTS AND LEISURE DESTINATIONS
HUMAN RESOURCES, TOURISM EMPLOYEE
BRONZE CATEGORY PRIZE WINNERS
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: WITH AN OPERATING BUDGET OF BETWEEN $300,000-$1 MILLION
ACCOMMODATION: WITH BETWEEN 40-199 UNITS
ACCOMODATION: B & B
Joanne Lalumière, President of Eastern Townships Tourism, was delighted with the results. « It was an extraordinary evening, » said Ms. Lalumière. « I couldn’t have wished for more! These awards were a real tribute to the imagination and innovation of our entrepreneurs. The high quality of our tourism offerings is part and parcel of the ‘Art of Living’, the Townships’ signature brand. »
With this new crop of 12 prizes, the Eastern Townships remains, by far, the region with the most tourism awards in the whole of Quebec. During the course of the 26 years that the Grand Prix du tourisme Québécois has been in existence, the Eastern Townships has won 82 provincial prizes - 41 gold, 27 silver, 11 bronze, three ‘special mentions’ and three ‘Tourism Personality of the Year’ awards, namely Liliane and Robert Gagnon, one time owners of the Auberge Hatley (2003), Jocelyna Dubuc, the proprietor of Spa Eastman (2006) and most recently, Mr. André L’Espérance (Orford Express tourist train, Escapades Memphrémagog and Auberge Aux quatre saisons d’Orford).