Interview of Elorri LASQUIBAR, Development Manager for French-speaking markets
If she could, Elorri would fly like a bird. Isn’t that the dream of every travel enthusiast? To be able to move from one place to another, easily and without delay!
Originally from the Basque Country, and with 15 years’ experience in the French tourism industry behind her, Elorri is embarking on a Quebec expatriation in 2021. Now, ready for a new professional challenge, she brings her expertise in the field and her in-depth knowledge of the Canadian destination to Receptour. For the occasion, our new Development Manager for French-speaking markets agreed to be interviewed. Let’s go!
Good morning Elorri, we’re delighted to have you back for this interview and also, to see you joining the Receptour team again! Would you tell us more about your new position?
It’s definitely a comeback (laughs)!
In France, I worked for a TO that collaborated with Toundra Voyages, a sister brand of Receptour. I always liked the way they worked and the way they interacted with their customers. When I knew I was going to immigrate to Canada, I applied for a job with Toundrigo, the group brand that includes Receptour and Toundra. Linda interviewed me and I fell in love with the team. So I began my expatriate adventure as a Forfaitiste / Account Manager at Receptour, for 8 months.
At the time, eager to add another string to my bow and discover another aspect of the industry, I went to work for 1 year as a sales representative at Manoir du Lac Delage. This gave me the opportunity to keep in touch with the team, as the Manoir is one of Receptour’s suppliers.
When Linda learned that Gilles, who was in charge of developing French-speaking markets, wanted to retire, she contacted me to offer me the position. Happy and flattered, I’m back to my first love – group travel – and ready to take on this new professional challenge!
In a few words, how would you describe your career path?
I’ve been working for 15 years now. That doesn’t make me any younger (laughs).
I started with a degree in tourism in Bordeaux and a job in a travel agency for a year. This travel agency was managed by Quebecers. Fun, right? After this experience, I got my first permanent job in a group agency in the same region. I stayed there for a few years and then I went back to my native region, the Basque Country. There, I got the oppportunity to work for a TO. Over the years I became a sales representative for all the groups in the west of France.
Passionate about outdoor sports, in love with the great outdoors and touched by the kindness of Canadians on my first visit, it was then that I decided to come and settle permanently in our beautiful province.
During the Covid crisis, I took training courses in other fields to broaden my skills. Despite everything, my passion for tourism kept calling me back, and I’m lucky enough to still be working in a sector I’m passionate about.
You worked in France for 15 years. What advantage does this represent in your current position?
My mission is to develop group sales in French-speaking markets, mainly France. In concrete terms, this means implementing a sales strategy to find and convince new customers (TOs / Agencies / Group Operators) to entrust their group travel to Canada to Receptour. I also need to develop the loyalty of existing customers.
In this sense, I’d say I arrive with knowledge of the market, the country, and a certain number of customers with whom I’ve already worked in the past. I understand and know their expectations. The fact that I’ve been on both sides of the fence means I know what their needs are, and understand them so I can adapt and respond as best I can.
Happy to be back with the Team? What is your impression?
If I had to describe the company in 2 words : respect and love. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that, but it’s the truth!
Receptour is respectful of each person involved in the group travel chain, and also of the destinations. Then love because the team is made up of people who are passionate about travel. They are also Canadian lovers who have at heart to share a maximum of knowledge about this beautiful country.
I appreciate more and more this company. I only had good surprises. Linda is really a great person, an outstanding professional, and she listens to her collaborators. Let’s take my example: I live in Quebec City, our offices are in Montreal, and Receptour gives me the flexibility to adapt my schedule between working from home, days at the office, and business travel in Europe.
The team is the reflection of the company : warm, passionate and welcoming.
You are quite a traveler yourself. Tough question, what is your favorite program?
As you said, this question is really complicated!
I think I would choose the Spectacular Gaspesie peninsula. The tour is very complete. We go up all along the St. Lawrence, from Ontario to Gaspesie (my favorite place in Canada). We pass by the inescapable of the east as Montreal, Quebec and also Perce. From this last city, our travelers observe the famous Perce Rock, but also some marine mammals like rorquals, seals, or blue whales.
During my trip to Gaspesie, I had the opportunity to see everything I dreamed of. Magical!
You just told us that your favorite region is Gaspesie. Could you tell us why?
This is one of my best vacation memories! I’ve always dreamed of going to the Rockfest, a local music festival, and I was lucky enough to go in 2018. I followed it up with a tour of the Gaspe Peninsula. I admit that I fell in love with this region immediately.
Back in France, I was homesick for Canada. I missed the country so much, and the kindness of its people! It was just after this trip to the Gaspé that I began the process of moving here permanently. Symbolically, Quebec pushed me to change my life and leave everything behind, so it was an important trip in my life.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
I think my entire background is what makes me most proud of.
Starting with a travel agency, continuing with a TO, and now working for a destination agency allows me to have a better understanding of the ecosystem. It helped me to understand and anticipate the customer demands.
Do you have a motto that helps you move forward professionally?
It’s not really a mantra, but it’s my passion that guides me. Travel and tourism are two areas dear to my heart. I spent the first 7 years of my life in Morocco, and was bitten by the bug to discover new horizons and cultures. My ultimate goal is to succeed in sharing my passion with all my clients. I want them to see the love I put into my work.
Otherwise, to be more down to earth, every day I make to do lists that I try to finish. This way, every night I get a personal satisfaction by seeing what I have accomplished during the day.
Before concluding this interview and thanking you, we would like to leave you with a few final words…
I would say that I fell in love with Canada and more particularly with Quebec. I found my balance here, between city and nature. You will never imagine all the animals I have seen. From the whale, to the wolf and even a bison!
My balance is also made thanks to my work. I blossom and I manage to share my passion to my clients.
Moving to Canada was one of the best decisions of my life!
To discover our programs, visit our programs page!
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