February 25, 2011
Yolaine Masse: Enthusiasm in abundance!
To take the chill off the depths of winter, we propose a heartwarming interview with the new general manager of Tourism Trois-Rivières, Yolaine Masse.
Yolaine Masse, you are new to Tourism Trois-Rivières. Could you tell us about your job as manager of this organization?
My role at Tourism Trois-Rivières involves promoting the city with tourism sector stakeholders and clients. I manage an amazing team of eleven individuals, all passionate about what they do. In addition, I oversee the operations of the local tourist information bureau.
Could you tell readers a little about your career prior to acceptance of your position with Tourism Trois Rivières?
I took over as manager of Tourism Trois-Rivières in June 2010. Prior to that, I worked in a variety of positions in the event organization and convention sectors, with a stint in the travel sector for a tour operator. A native of Victoriaville, I spent the last 12 years in Montréal but am delighted to have returned, with my family, to a region that I know well and to a day-to-day pace that suits me to a tee. The cruise side of the business is completely new to me but I am eager to learn and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the needs and expectations of the cruiseshipping community.
What is it about your job that you especially enjoy?
I am immensely enthusiastic about my position and my responsibilities with Tourism Trois-Rivières. The city is developing as a tourist destination not only with international visitors but also with individuals from across our home market. My job is therefore about starting from scratch... about building and creating! And it is a challenge that I find highly motivational. Given our geographical location midway between Montréal and Québec, we need to work to attract niche client groups and effectively communicate information about the many novel additions to the regional tourism supply. Up until now, Trois-Rivières has been known as an industry town. My challenge is to position the city as a tourist destination of choice.
Could you enlighten readers about cruise-related development projects on the drawing board for Trois-Rivières in the coming years?
In joining the ranks of the Saint Lawrence ports of call, Trois-Rivières has lent a welcome boost to the tourism supply on the stretch of river between Montréal and Québec. New to the industry, we at Tourism Trois-Rivières plan on using the months ahead to observe, to gather information and to better define the thrust designed to substantiate cruiseshipper interest in our port of call. We recently received confirmation that two ships will be calling into port at Trois-Rivières for the first time in the fall of 2012. As you can well imagine, we are simply delighted and aim to provide cruiseshippers with a welcome they will long remember.
What does Trois-Rivières have to offer cruiseshippers?
I believe that cruiseshippers will take genuine delight in discovering our bustling city centre and touring the Old Jailhouse in the company of guides who are all former inmates. For an invaluable insight into Québecers and Québec society, they will also want to schedule a visit to the Québec Museum of Popular Culture.
As some readers may already know, Trois-Rivières was named Cultural Capital of Canada in 2009. The readily appreciable importance afforded culture in our region will therefore come as no surprise to visitors. We are also located close by the Sanctuary at Notre-Dame-du-Cap, a well known pilgrimage venue.
What is your favourite port of call restaurant?
Our city centre is home to an abundance of different types of eateries. My personal favourite is La Piazza for their ‘petite cornue’ pizza which I love! For something a little more traditional, with the added attraction of onsite entertainment, there is Cabane à sucre Chez Dany which guarantees a superlative visitor experience. Patrons will revel in the genuine maple toffee which they can roll themselves year round thanks to Chez Dany's secret cache of snow!
What is the nature of your involvement with Saint Lawrence Cruise Association (SLCA)?
What would you like to see for cruiseshippers and for Trois-Rivières in the years ahead?
I am extremely pleased to sit on the Board of Directors of SLCA. Indeed, my involvement at this level has introduced me to a wonderful team of individuals with a passion for what they do. As a new destination, we have our work cut out for us and a great deal to learn from our colleagues at other ports of call. Just belonging to this unbelievably caring and supportive group makes my job a whole lot easier. I also enjoy meeting with industry stakeholders when we travel to the various sector-specific trade shows. Thus, with each passing day, I learn a little more about cruiseshipping and the cruise sector!
The recent confirmations received for the 2012 season have made our hearts sing and I feel blessed as we begin to reap the benefits of the dedicated efforts of those who preceded me. With the welcoming into our midst of these two ships in the fall of 2012, I hope to demonstrate that Trois-Rivières can position itself as a destination of interest and become one of the "must see/must experience" ports of call along the Saint Lawrence.