Article Published 30/03/2022
VisitScotland Business Events has reappointed its French communications agency, Interface Tourism MICE. Interface Tourism France has worked with VisitScotland Business Events for 10 years and is Europe's leading communications, marketing and public relations agency, specialising in the travel and tourism sector.
We caught up with Marine and Tahina at Interface Tourism MICE to discuss their roles on the account and how they will support the VisitScotland Business Events team in promoting its messaging and goals within their market.
What attracts the French market to Scotland?
Scotland has always had a positive image in France: the warm welcome of Scottish people; stunning sceneries, especially in the Highlands; the abundance of nature and wildlife; the Old Town of Edinburgh and its unique atmosphere.
VisitScotland Business Events' new vision, Journey to Change, really resonates with the changes we are seeing in the French market.
Over the past few years, organisations have been looking at alternative ways to add value to their events for delegates, including taking their events to destinations that have centres of excellence directly linked to their respective fields or through activities where they can give back to the local area.
All of this combined is what attracts French participants to Scotland: the originality, the authenticity, the knowledge and expertise and also the short travel time from France.
Marine, what is your role on the account and what will you be responsible for?
Marine Kerherve, Interface Tourism MICE
I am the MICE account manager for VisitScotland Business Events and will be supervised by Tahina who has great experience in promoting Scotland to the French Market.
My role is to represent the destination and to be the preferred contact for MICE buyers who have a project in Scotland. I will also support VisitScotland's projects, including Journey to Change, through various marketing activities.
CSR is becoming increasingly important within the industry; have you noticed more clients looking for purpose to their travel?
French companies are paying a lot more attention to the CSR policies and credentials of the companies they partner with, the destinations they visit and the venues they are choosing for their events. They are also exploring more environmentally friendly ways of travelling. It's not just a detail anymore, it's part of daily life.
How do you expect the Journey to Change campaign to be received by French event organisers?
I'm confident that the French market will fully embrace the Journey to Change campaign. It's a great angle to approach the promotion of a destination and it gives Scotland a special place in the MICE landscape. It's not just a case of organising an event anymore, it is about being a globally responsible citizen and considering the impact, both environmentally and socially, that your event has on the host destination.
Tahina, you have worked on the account for several years, what is one of your favourite memories of Scotland?
Tahina Randriamandranto, Interface Tourism MICE
One of my favourite memories of Scotland is from a FAM trip at Gilmerton House in January 2016.
The group was really engaged and very interested in discovering Scotland. We had a wonderful dinner with local produce, which was introduced with the "Address to a Haggis" ceremony and followed by traditional Scottish dances. Most of the participants were afraid to taste the haggis at first but in the end, they all appreciated it. It was also the very first time I wore a kilt. What an experience!
After dinner, we all gathered in the living room and spoke about Scotland and general life, it was lovely and even began to snow outside. It was so beautiful and definitely the highlight of the trip for me.
What is your favourite place and activity in Scotland?
Tahina: One of my favourite places in Scotland is Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond. The quality of facilities and the stunning scenery provide a unique atmosphere and it is also often used for French M&I groups.
Cairngorms National Park at Aviemore is a close favourite. When we visited, we had the opportunity to meet and feed the Red Deer, it was amazing.
Marine: I would say Edinburgh, I love the unique atmosphere of the Old Town, it makes me feel like I am in Harry Potter (I'm a huge fan and a proud Hufflepuff!).
I had the opportunity to visit some incredible venues and hotels when I last visited. I really felt at home when I was in Edinburgh thanks to the warm welcome of the Scottish people.
Find out more about Interface Tourism MICE here.