Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency organized one of its flagship events, The Ambassador’s Travel Awards in Mumbai on November 21 in the resplendent setting of The Chambers, Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Mumbai. These awards were instated in 2015 under the high patronage of the Ambassador of France to India and powered by VFS Global for all its subsequent editions. This year, for the first time, the awards received an added impetus with the collaboration of the Reunion Island Tourism Board. The objective behind the awards is to recognize and reward a selection of travel agents across India for their exemplary efforts in showcasing France as a travel destination both from the destination showcase, visa perspective and the prolific penmanship of a journalist who, through articles, has essayed a versatile presentation of destination France.
A new category of awards was introduced that acknowledged and rewarded the best showcase of France’s overseas departments.
The event was also an opportune platform for showcasing the vibrant music of Reunion Island as invited guests were treated to an entertaining performance from the JF Gang, a group of talented musicians who had flown in all the way from Reunion Island for the occasion.
Diamond Award: Winner for the tour operator that has registered the highest number of visa issuances
Winner: Thomas Cook India Ltd
Prize: A 2-night stay for 2 at the Novotel Goa Resort & Spa courtesy Accor
Gold Award: Best Showcase of France as a MICE destination
Winner: SOTC Travel Ltd
Prize: A 2-night sojourn for 2 in Northern France including a 2-night stay at the Hotel Tiara Mont Royal, entrance tickets for two at the Château de Chantilly Domaine courtesy Northern France Regional Tourism Board
Diamond Award: Best Showcase of France as an Alpine destination
Winner: Panache World
Prize: An escapade for 2 in the ski resort of Courchevel including a 2-night stay at Hotel Barrière Les Neiges, courtesy Leading Hotels of the World
Best Showcase of France’s Overseas Departments
Winner: Erawan Travels
Prize: A week-long stay in Reunion Island courtesy Reunion Island Tourism Board and 2 tickets on Air Austral
Most Innovative Showcase of France as a Travel Destination
Winner: Original Senses
Prize: A business class ticket on Air France to Paris, 2-night stay for 2 at the Plaza Athénée, Paris courtesy Dorchester Collection, a 2-night stay for two in Deauville at the hotel Barrière Le Normandy courtesy InDeauville Tourist Office
Best Journalist Award
Karen Anand: Independent Travel Writer
Prize: A business class ticket to Paris on Air France, 2 nights for 2 at the Sofitel Le Scribe courtesy Accor and 2 nights for 2 at Fauchon l’Hotel courtesy Leading Hotels of the World
Sheetal Munshaw, Director Atout France, said, ” The Ambassadors Awards have grown from strength to strength in the last few years and have assumed a pan-India dimension which gives our efforts at showcasing France an added boost. Our source markets have now diversified to include many more cities across the country which indicates a lot of potential for France. A special mention must be made of all our partners who have generously sponsored our awards by graciously offering sojourns in France and India to our winners. This year, in addition to the continued support we’ve been receiving from VFS Global since the inception of the awards in 2015, we are also extremely pleased to have onboard Reunion Island Tourism Board as our partner. Our alliance since October 2018 at showcasing the island and its multi-faceted touristic offering have been a mutually successful one and we are confident that next year will reap in great results for La Réunion.”