Tourisme Baie-Comeau likes to make its visitors happy, so they'll keep coming back. They do so by relying on the warm welcome offered by its residents and the wide range of attractions in the city and surrounding area. The organization focuses on adapting its services to its clientele. “Our travel consultants actually go out and do the activities, so they do a better job talking about them and promoting them,” says Executive Director Reina Savoie-Jourdain. “Baie-Comeau residents are the region’s best ambassadors, because the attractions and activities are also created with them in mind.”
Nature, adventure and culture
Pointe-Lebel’s Paradis des Toutous (a kind of stuffed toy magic garden) is perfect for families with young children. The city has many safe walking trails for young and not-so-young; challenging bike routes for athletic cyclists, and easier paths for more leisurely riders in the city; as well as beaches for lazing and bays for paddleboarding.
The town is located in the centre of the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve, and is known for providing opportunities for adventure. Reina mentions Attitude Nordique – Plein Air's “very popular packages; they’re amazing”, such as: trekking through the Uapishka Mountains, yoga retreats, kayaking and ziplining. MerÉveil has sea kayaking, mountain hiking and theme nights. “You have to stop at Anse Saint-Pancrace,” a real crowd pleaser. Reina's favourite spot is the waterfall in Parc du Vieux-Poste, which is “so peaceful and relaxing”. As in years past, she will only tell quiet people how to get there, so the peace and other visitors won’t be disturbed.
As for cultural attractions, she mentions Sainte-Amélie Church, a heritage building with great artistic value, decorated with 1,500 m2 of frescoes by Florentine-inspired Italian painter Guido Nincheri. The Art est un Miroir exhibition at the Mance Pavilion pays tribute to 80 Canadian painters. The D'Aventure et de culture show tells the history of Baie-Comeau and the region through a lively mash-up of musical numbers, archival photos and videos and first-person accounts. “The show is so much fun, people really enjoy it! You can get a taste of it by watching a short clip at the Visitor Centre.” To round out the evening, go to the St-Pancrace microbrewery to be at the centre of Baie-Comeau night life and rub shoulders with the locals.” “It's going to be tough going back home, where we'll be stuck in traffic …”
Visiting city folk often thank Baie-Comeau and the Visitor Information Centre for their recommendations. They are grateful for the warm welcome they received from residents and tourist attraction staff. These are the kinds of comments that Reina regularly receives. With telework, some visitors are even trying to stay, balancing work, family and leisure, with the idea of possibly taking the plunge and moving there permanently.
Tourisme Baie-Comeau is active on social networks. “A colourful new map is available at our information kiosks, with beautiful images”, and its upgraded website now features, “the kind of informal text that sound like we're talking to our friends”. According to Reina, Julie Bélanger and its partner, Tourisme Côte-Nord, are doing a great job of promoting the region. “Already in February and March, images of the region get big city folk to start thinking about us.”
The organization understands the meaning of reconnecting with nature, and this message drives new development projects, especially the ones that promote adventure.
Rédaction : Christine Gilliet (Mots et marées)Clic here to listen to our (french) podcast Bonjour Côte-Nord about Tourism Baie-Comeau with Reina Savoie-Jourdain :