Visit of a French Delegation from the Rhône-Alps region
French Senator Mr. Jean Besson, President of Rhône-Alps Tourism, will be in Louisiana from October 1st to 4th 2013, with Mr. Marc Béchet, Director of Rhône-Alps Tourism, Mr. Michel Grégoire, Mayor and President of the Association of Mayors of the Drôme Département and Mrs Lucyna Gravière, International Relations Manager.
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen the connections between Louisiana and Rhône-Alps, two regions with lot of common interests and objectives, especially thriving on tourism. This visit is the second round of the new partnership, Senator Besson is following the invitation Lieutenant-Governor Jay Dardenne extended in October 2012 during his visit to Lyon.
The French delegation will promote tourism in Rhône-Alps Region and have extensive meetings with media and tour operators. It will also identify potential cooperation projects in tourism management, education and training, exchanges of young professionals, exchange programs between high schools and universities for bilingual experience and training in tourism, hospitality, gastronomy and agriculture. Over their three days program, they will meet with Lieutenant-Governor Jay Dardenne, Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of Lafayette Joey Durel, Louisiana Senators and Representatives, CODOFIL and University representatives as well as various other active members of the francophone community in Louisiana. October 2nd a visit is planned of the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, Thibodaux. Chef John Folse and his Institute send each year students to Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon.
A round-table at the World Trade Center on October 2nd will also allow discussion on the business potential for Louisiana companies in Rhône-Alps Region and its capital Lyon.
The Rhône-Alps region is the center-south-east part of France, with dynamic and industrial cities like Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne. Its high GDP is ranked 5th in Europe. The region excels in academics and R&D, innovation, life sciences, micro-electronics & IT, petro-chemical industries as well as renewable energies & energy efficiency, transport & sustainable mobility, digital media industries, agro food & organic products.
In 2014, FUTURALIA Summit will take place in Lyon, which hosts also every year the second largest agro-food business meeting in France (SIRHA).
The region is one of the most attractive in France for tourism and gastronomy (the inventor of the word Gastronomy was from this region, Mr Brillat-Savarin) : situated between the Rhône river valley and the Alps mountains and ski resorts, it offers a variety of natural and cultural treasures, especially its gastronomy, wines and music festivals (Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon, Fête des Lumières, Jazz à Vienne, in the old Roman Amphitheater).
The Delegation will also include the Sidney Bechet Memory All Stars, a band of 7 musicians of whom 3 played with Sidney Bechet during the 10 years he lived in France. Created 12 years ago, the band plays to keep the memory of one of the greatest jazz player by interpreting some of the songs he composed while in France like “Petite Fleur”, “Dans les rues d’Antibes”, “Les Oignons” and many more... On Thursday Oct. 3rd they will be on WWOZ at 10:00 am, and perform at the Old US Mint from 2:00 pm to 3:30pm, and at the Snug Harbor from 8:00pm to 11:30pm.
Famous New Orleans born clarinet player Sidney Bechet’s ancestors were actually from Rhône-Alpes (Haute-Savoie, in the Alps).