January 03, 2018

Good news for RVers…huge potential for bilingual communities

Officially launched on March 31, 2017, RVandBee is poised to revolutionize the RV world. What's more, this national project, which has already set its sights on the rest of North America, was the brainchild of Daniel Picard. It's an innovative idea with the potential to promote growth in Manitoba's tourism and economic sectors .

Campers in St.Malo Provincial Park

The Airbnb-inspired principle is simple: individuals rent their land to RVers or campers via the RVandBee website. "Our site is for people interested in hosting guests on their property or campers looking for a place to park other than a campground," says Daniel Picard. "60% of RVers are now couples between the ages of 35 and 65. They travel without children, seeking solitude, the open road and quieter destinations."

Daniel Picard hails from Wendake, Quebec, which is where it all started in 2015, when he had the idea for his own property. "I realized that I had a beautiful piece of land that city folk might enjoy. I'd been an RVer for more than 25 years, so I felt they were the perfect people to host."

It was an immediate success. The pilot project took shape, and RVandBee was voted booth of the year at the Quebec Recreational Vehicle Show! While he had been planning to retire, Daniel Picard decided to start fresh and throw himself into this new business venture.

Property owners have complete freedom: they set their rental rate, which can change depending on the season and the services offered. "We charge and keep very little money. Our real goal is to get people to travel and discover Canada, in French. There are so many beautiful spots in this country. For the past 25 years, I have been trying to convince people to explore it and to visit the most beautiful fishing lakes located in Manitoba."

RVandBee in Manitoba

Today, RVandBee has expanded considerably beyond Quebec. As a partner of Joie de Vivre Manitoba, CDEM's tourism sector, RVandBee can contribute to the economic growth of Francophone tourism in Manitoba and help address some of its challenges. "It’s a wonderful project," says Roselle Turenne, CDEM tourism consultant. "We've been trying for years to attract Quebeckers to our province. Often it's the fear of travelling without being able to speak your own language that stops people from coming. RVandBee has the potential to bring them into our bilingual communities."

The project has also established partnerships with campgrounds. This is a big advantage for travellers, especially during the summer months, when campsites are often full. "For the same rate, these campgrounds will send campers to a nearby RVandBee partner that has the same camping facilities and services," says Daniel Picard.

There is great potential on the horizon. Some Manitobans have already registered and are ready to receive travellers. Take St. Malo resident, Angèle Bernardin, who offers a charming spot that is perfect for enjoying summer sunsets in a secluded part of the village. "We are right next to the river and have enough space for two or three trailers. While we still have several services to set up, we are eager to meet people from other places!”

The next step is to establish a Francophone travel route across Canada, slated for launch in the very near future. "We want to develop this major project so that anyone can travel across Canada in French," says Daniel Picard.