CRAZY FOR QUÉBEC
MY CANADA Welcome to Expect the unexpected
JOSEPHINE WIGGALL-LAZARUS Director of Tourism, Destination Québec UK
Just what is it that makes a trip to Canada special. We got up close and personal with Josephine Wiggall-Lazarus Director of Tourism for Destination Québec UK
Canada is obviously all about Québec. I have
been working for Destination Québec for over 15 years and, of course, I’m going to say I love Québec, but for me it’s not just a professional love any more, it’s personal. I’ve travelled a lot all over the world
but I never tire of Québec. Every time I go, I discover something new. There is always something unexpected. I like holidays that keep me active,
both physically and mentally. I like lots to see and do and want to completely forget the office! Québec does that, every time.
CONTRASTS I’m a Londoner, a city girl at heart, but I also love the great outdoors. Québec gives me the chance to indulge both sides of my personality. One minute I can be sitting in a café admiring amazing architecture or meandering beautiful historic streets, then within 20 minutes I find myself in Le Relais,
an activity centre near Québec City, in a harness and helmet revelling the challenge of a tree-top walk I never even knew I wanted to do! Canadian cities are a novelty if you
come from London. To be able to cycle safely, as you can in Montréal, or have someone – who isn’t a weirdo – strike up a random friendly conversation is so refreshing. Québec's cities are not just for business, people live in them so they are very vibrant and very laid back. Take a bike tour and you are doing what the locals do every day so you really feel a real part of it all.
UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS I’m a keen gardener and it's amazing to find yourself in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains – an hour from Montréal – with the owner of an old country inn showing me her garden and discussing how she gardens in a climate so different to my own.
"The pleasure of the unexpected moments you
experience is enough to overawe even the most jaded traveller. It’s the simple surprises and the unexpected encounters that really sum up My Canada."
One lady then took me hiking
through the forest where, as we stopped to take photos, we were suddenly approached by a huge moose. It was a breathtaking moment.
OUTDOOR MAGIC I like the great outdoors and so do Canadians. Québec is the biggest of the Canadian provinces but has a population of only 7.5 million. There is so much space and you can be on a trail miles from anyone very quickly and easily. The nights are incredibly dark and I
will never forget one evening in June when we were treated to a stunning display of the aurora borealis. As we looked up, silhouetted on the mountaintop was a herd of wild caribou – it was sensational. I have been whale watching many
times but the smiling faces of a white beluga whale never fails to delight me and they live there year round!
ACCESSIBLE ADVENTURE I’m not exactly in my first flush of youth but somehow My Canada always involves unexpected activities which turn out to be huge amounts of fun. Like tubing down the mountainside – it’s ridiculous but such a thrill; or
speeding around in go-carts! I would never contemplate these at home, but in Québec they are so easily accessible, that you just find yourself having a go. Next thing you know you're loving it!
ALWAYS EVOLVING Best of all is the way My Canada is always evolving. Most inspiring at the moment is the development of activities involving our First Nation People. That’s what I really want to discover more about next.
To learn more about Québec train online at www.quebecexperts.com
For further help and advice on selling the destination contact traveltrade@ destinationquebec.co.uk
or call: 020 7924 8030.
Selling Canada • Spring 2011 27
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