Isabelle Brémond, Provence in her Blood

General Manager of the Bouches-du-Rhône Tourist Board, Isabelle Brémond is first and foremost passionate about the region where she grew up. With generosity, she shares her story, achievements and aspirations for this rich territory that she continues to appreciate day after day.
By Mélissa Darré

What is your relationship to Provence?

I often describe myself as a girl from the South. I was raised in the sunshine. My parents are from Montpellier. As a child, I lived in Paris a little but I spent most of my childhood in the Alpilles region. For this, Provence is my roots; it’s the blood flowing in my veins! If I say this with great passion, it's because it’s really how I feel.

What I like in this region above all is the diversity. Within this region of Provence you find extremely different territories: Marseille and its cosmopolitan side with an opening on to the sea and the East; the Camargue and its wild landscapes; and Provence, land of my childhood and full of memories.

What is your professional background?

I’ve had an unusual career! To being with, I was a gym and tennis teacher. I got a degree in Sports Science in Nice and I loved sport. But I could not see myself making a career out of it, I imagined myself more working in tourism. Then I did a postgraduate degree in Tourism Economics in Aix-en-Provence, thanks to which I became aware that tourism was my future.

I then led groups for the Nouvelles Frontières travel agency, which allowed me to travel a lot, particularly to Egypt and Greece. Next I moved to Paris, where I worked as a sales manager for Le Meridien hotels before coming to the Bouches-du-Rhône Tourist Board in 1990. I know I'm lucky to be so passionate about my job; I'm never bored.

What are your favorite spots in Provence for summer?

I think Marseille with its Old Port, its rocky coves that can be explored on foot or by boat, or the beautiful Mucem museum next to the Saint-Jean Fort, should really not be missed! Personally, I love the cosmopolitan town center, with its mix of communities and cultures. It's very intense, I love this city of travelers that has evolved so much over the years.

Arles is also incredibly charming. It’s a museum city with a great heritage, in parallel to modern elements, and all at the gates of the Camargue region with its authentic landscapes. I like the Rencontres d'Arles festival, where over a month you can visit exhibitions in surprising venues. Or the stages of the Les Suds Festival, where music is performed within the city’s gardens.

And then there's Baux de Provence and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, perfect for hiking through picturesque villages. For me this is the region’s most vibrant element. Both mild and severe. The views are sublime: the green olive trees, the blue sky and the white rocks. This is my childhood, I feel rooted here.

www.visitprovence.com

Isabelle Brémond, Provence in her Blood
Isabelle Brémond, Provence in her Blood
General Manager of the Bouches-du-Rhône Tourist Board, Isabelle Brémond is first and foremost passionate about the region where she grew up
© Yohanne Lamoulère
A girl from the South
A girl from the South
"What I like in this region above all is the diversity"
© Fotolia - Stevanzz

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