May 3, 2010
Introducing Anne-Marie Nadeau!
The Board of Directors of Saint Lawrence Cruise Association (SLCA) comprises a group of spirited individuals with a passion for what they do. We have the pleasure of sharing with you our meeting with the Secretary-Treasurer of SLCA, Anne-Marie Nadeau who is also Cruise Market Coordinator for the Port of Québec.
Ms Nadeau, could you enlighten readers about your role and involvement as Secretary-Treasurer of SLCA?
My involvement on the Board of Directors of SLCA began in May 2008. A year later, I was elected to the post of Secretary-Treasurer. My main role is to oversee the sound financial health of the association in cooperation with Director René Trépanier.
Could you provide us with an overview of the projects especially dear to your heart?
As a member of the Executive Committee, I have taken responsibility for the file relating to the new SLCA controlled emissions area. This dossier is of the highest priority and key to sustained growth in the Saint Lawrence as a cruise destination. Working together with International Maritime Organization authorities, Canada and the United States have committed to reducing atmospheric emissions produced by ships. As a result, any ship sailing within 200 nautical miles of the coast will be obligated to use fuel with 1% sulphur content by 2012. Since 100% of international cruise itineraries take place within the 200 mile territorial limit, the potential impact on the industry could hinder competitiveness owing to increased fuel costs.
What is your take on the future of the international cruise market in Québec?
We have made important headway in the past decade as a cruise destination, notably with respect to the development of new ports of call, recognition by our government partners of the economic benefits of our industry, and the creation of SLCA which is now recognized by major cruise line operators. Although we remain a secondary market for customers, the variety of tourist attractions is unique and we provide passengers with a travel experience nothing short of exceptional. However, we must sustain, even step up promotional efforts to strengthen our brand image with both clients and potential consumers.
Shifting the focus to you, what do your responsibilities entail?
As Cruise Market Coordinator, I am responsible for the promotion and development of this market segment for the Port of Québec. It is up to me to find new strategies to increase Port traffic and refine promotional strategies with cruise line operators. In preparation for the season, I must ensure sound communications among all stakeholders involved in the operation of cruises in Québec. I am also responsible for greeting passengers at the cruise terminal.
You must be kept very busy, indeed! Could you tell readers a little about your career path to date?
I have been Cruise Market Coordinator since September 2008. Previously, I occupied the position of Trade Research and Communications Consultant with the Port of Québec from November 2007. The Port recruited me in the month of August to organize a trade mission to Norway in the fall; officials then offered me a permanent position upon termination of my contract. I had just completed an MBA in International Management at Université Laval. During my studies, I had taken part in a number of trade missions abroad with the aim of developing foreign market potential for Québec businesses. These experiences proved highly enriching both personally and professionally.
What do you like most about your job?
I love meeting and conversing with passengers calling in at Québec. Some are from the US, others from Europe and their comments about our destination are always highly favourable. All are dazzled by our attractions, the quality of the greeting they receive and Québec’s rich history.
What are Québec’s leading attributes for cruiseshippers?
- Proximity of the passenger terminal to historic Old Québec;
- In the tourist sector of the city, passengers enjoy ready contact with merchants and residents;
- Local mobilization to develop this market.
Could you enlighten readers about cruise-related projects on the drawing board for Québec?
The Tourism Bureau will be developing new tourist attractions over the next two years. Also, under the terms of the ACCORD Program for the provincial capital region, efforts will be devoted ‘to developing Québec as a port of embarkation/disembarkation and home port for international cruises.’ Work is scheduled to begin this spring. The action plan provides for the training of travel agents with regard to Québec’s attractions, the development of new tourism products, and the distribution of information bulletins to specialized travel agencies and cruise line operators.
Where does cruise passenger volume stand at Québec?
In 2009, we welcomed close to 87 000 passengers and 30 000 crew members. This year, we are forecasting 107 000 passengers and 35 000 crew members, figures which surpass anything in the history of the Port of Québec to date!
What is your favourite activity for cruise passengers calling in at Québec?
I love the walking tour of Old Québec as it affords cruiseshippers an authentic experience and allows them to put themselves in the shoes of the early inhabitants, if only for a short time.
What is your favourite port of call restaurant?
We have so many good restaurants that it would be difficult to name just one! I love Café du Monde for the exceptional river view and Porto Fino for its authentic Italian cuisine. Then there is Panache for the pleasure of discovering new flavour combinations, and, of course, Laurie Raphaël for product refinement and uniqueness of presentation. In short, I love them all!
Have you ever been on a cruise? What did you enjoy most?
I took my first cruise this past winter aboard the Celebrity Solstice in the eastern Caribbean… and loved my experience! The variety of onboard activities, the choice of restaurants, and the 7-day itinerary proved much to my liking. I am convinced that Québec and the Saint Lawrence ports of call elicit the same enthusiasm with visitors from abroad.
In conclusion, what do you wish for cruiseshippers in 2010?
I hope that passengers enjoy cruise experiences which far surpass that of any other to date and that they will become proud ambassadors for Québec in regions across the globe!
Wishing everyone a wonderful summer season!