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Monday,  April 15, 2024 8:36 AM 

100 years young, Club Voyages Guertin heads toward its second centenary!

100 years young, Club Voyages Guertin heads toward its second centenary!

After unofficially launching the celebration of its 100th anniversary at a trade show on March 3, Club Voyages Guertin proceeded on March 18 to the official launch of its centenary at Château Monsarrat in Gatineau.

Around 40 guests were present, including the mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne, partners, members and ex-members of the team — and even Philippe Gauthier, grandson of Aimé Guertin, who founded the agency in 1924!

PAX was also there.

Denis Bergeron, Johanne Mondor, Nathalie Lessard and the mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne.

It was Colette Girard, director of franchised and affiliated members at Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) who had the honour of introducing “the two stars of the evening [who] have been making their company shine for almost a quarter of century”: Johanne Mondor and Denis Bergeron, co-owners of the agency.

“If someone had told me one day that I would be here in front of you to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a Québec travel agency, I would have been quite incredulous,” said Girard, undoubtedly summarizing the feeling of many.

Earlier, Girard also praised the agency’s previous owner, Nicole Moreault, who was the one who decided to partner with the Club Voyages/Consultours banner in the early 1980s.

Moreault was not present, but was spoken of highly throughout the evening.

The master of ceremonies, Nathalie Lessard, director of groups and special events at Club Voyages Guertin, also praised this very involved businesswoman, who had dared to open a second agency in Gatineau in 1976.

During her speech, Mondor also did not fail to pay tribute to her predecessor.

She did the same, of course, with the agency’s founder, Aimé Guertin — “initially an insurance broker driven by a great passion for travel.”

And she also saluted the founder's daughter, Claire Gauthier, who, from 1950, took the reins of the family business and made it prosper for 25 years.

Aimé Guertin, Claire Gauthier and Nicole Moreault.

A centenary looking to the future 

Extremely proud of the past of the now century-old agency, Mondor also spoke about the present and future of her company, which is today supported by a team of 10 full-time advisors as well as 16 external agents.

“Indeed, despite the more than honorable age of our agency, its current dynamism, particularly as an agency with the highest group sales via Groupes et Cie, would make our founder Aimé Guertin proud,” she said.

Bergeron, for his part, highlighted the agency's ability to always be of the times, following trends and eras.

“Club Voyages Guertin has always been able to adapt to technological changes,” he emphasized.  “For a hundred years the agency has evolved and adapted to modernization and the demands of travellers. Our team always has the same objective: to serve the customer.”

In fact, Mondor wanted to invite all the members of her team present to join her on stage to introduce them to the guests.

“It’s worth a big round of applause,” she said. “It’s this great team that will lead us to our next centenary.”

Last Sunday (March 17), Club Voyages Guertin organized an “Employee Appreciation Day.”

Among other things, the team members were treated to a guided tour of the city following in the footsteps of the founder, Aimé Guertin.

Make way for the partners!

The co-owner then invited the agency’s partners present to join her on stage.

Among them were representatives of TravelBrands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Groupe Voyages Québec and TDC-Groupe et Cie.

Representatives of the agency’s “business class” partners then joined them, namely Tours Chanteclerc, Transat and Ponant. (Mondor also mentioned two business class partners who were unable to be present, CroisiEurope and Melia Hotels).

Lessard mentioned that each of the next months will be dedicated to a business class partner.

The agency will try to make them known to the population of Outaouais, thanks in particular to media campaigns, information evenings and capsules on the Club Voyages Guertin Facebook page.

“A centenarian who has never felt so young”

Club Voyages Guertin’s centenary celebrations will continue throughout the year.

In August, the agency will support the Mercedes-Benz Gatineau Golf Classic at the Mathieu Froment-Savoie House.

Following the centenary event in early March, a second is planned for September.

The Club Voyages Guertin 100th anniversary cruise will take place Nov. 5-20 aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Viva.

One hundred of the agency’s VIP clients will take part, accompanied by Mondor and Lessard.

Note that the tickets for this cruise were all sold out in just one day!

Finally, on Dec. 5, Club Voyages Guertin will organize a grand closing gala for the centenary.

Some 250 VIP clients will be invited to celebrate the agency — “a centenary who has never felt so young,” said Lessard.

After all its festivities, will the agency be able to take a breather?

Maybe... Unless it decides to mark the 25 years of Mondor and Bergeron at the helm of the agency in 2025!

Philippe Gauthier, grandson of Aimé Guertin, founder of the agency.Colette Girard, Guy St Cyr, Lise Lauzon (former director of the Gatineau agency from 1974 to 1994), Phillipe Gauthier (grandson of Aimé Guertin), Denis Bergeron, Johanne Mondor, Gisèle Dillon (former employee of the Hull office), Nathalie Lessard and the mayor of Gatineau, Daniel Champagne.

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