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GALA DU GRAND PRIX DU TOURISME                   Editor: Nancy Nourse

Date: March 8, 2012  Region: Sherbrooke

grand prix du tourisme tag  The 27th Gala du Grands Prix du tourisme Desjardins des Cantons de l'Est will take place at the Granada Theatre in Sherbrooke on Thursday, March 15. The prizes presented reward the companies which were noticed for their innovation during three last years. This official reception in March constitutes the regional level which is a stepping stone toward the national contest which, for first ever, will be held in the Townships. On Monday May 28, 2012, hundreds of representatives of the Québécois tourism industry will rendez-vous at the Centre de Foires de Sherbrooke.

This year, 39 finalists are presented in 16 categories. To celebrate local cuisine, a regional category has been added: Table régionale – Créateurs de savours (Regional Level –Creative Flavours). An independent jury, composed of personalities recognized for their expertise, will determine the winners. The identity of the members of this jury will be revealed at the time of the Regional Gala.

At the time of the evening Gala, in addition to revealing the regional winners, Tourisme des Cantons-de-l'Est will crown the Personality of the Year 2012. This person, chosen by the Board of Directors of TCE, has contributed in an important and original way to the regional tourist industry.

The Gala des Grands Prix du tourisme 2012 will take place under the theme of "Emotion at the heart of innovation". For Joanne Lalumière, President of the TCE and Executive Director of the Granby Zoo, "Innovation is essential so that companies can maintain their place in an increasingly competitive market. The tourism entrepreneurs are very often impassioned visionaries, with emotion always at the heart of their projects".

"The tourist region of the Cantons-de -l'Est receives 7.7 million visitors each year who can be divided between "tourists" and "excursionists". These visitors inject annually more than 650 M $ in the regional economy and ensure employment more than 12.500 people in nearly 1.000 companies.

Hostesses for the evening will be Anick Moulin and Mireille Roberge. The presentation of the prizes will take place during the meal of regional tastes. This year, TCE wishes to emphasize the agro-alimentary region of the Valley de Coaticook. The meal will be prepared by three famous chiefs who know their products well: Dominic Tremblay -- Restaurant Café Massawippi and Bistro DT, François Dubois – Le Bocage "Inn and Restaurant" and Eric Garand –Plaisir Gourmand, Restaurant and Caterer.

Such an evening would not be possible without the support of faithful partners of which Desjardins, the godfather of the event for more than 27 years. At the press conference, Mrs Line Deschênes – Communications Adviser with the regional Vice-presidency of the Canton-de-l'Est Desjardins, affirmed that "this official reception is an event impossible to circumvent because it recognizes tourism excellence and strongly contributes to the promotion of regional tourism, a major branch of industry of our economy. For Desjardins, it is important to support the efforts of all those which work in tourism and which makes the Cantons-de -l'Est a destination of choice".

This official reception also receives the support of the ministère du Tourisme, du ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine - Estrie, du ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec - Estrie, de Destination Sherbrooke, de Radio-Canada Estrie, de La Tribune, de la Voix de l'Est and the deputies of the area. Our collaborators are Audiovisuel Collins, Standish Communications, Imagerie Digitale and the Theatre Granada.

The 27th edition of the Grands Prix du Desjardins tourisme de Cantons-de-l'Est is intended for people of tourist industry and for their partners. Companies looking to attend this event may purchase their tickets ($85) from Tourisme Cantons-de-l'Est by composing 819-820-2020.

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