France Montagnes, Le portail de la montaigne française
Driven by a veritable passion for mountains over more than 30 years, Jean-Marc SILVA has been serving as the director of France Montagnes since 2010, at Alpespace in Francin, Savoie Department, France.
France Montagnes, the leading promotional and communication platform for French mountain destinations both domestically and internationally, was the outcome of the merger among de SFI, PAM and Ski France-ANMSM (National Association of Mountain Resort Mayors), whose president is Gilbert BLANC-TAILLEUR.
A native of Grenoble, and armed with his diploma in Mechanical Fabrication, Jean-Marc Silva began his professional career at age 19 as a purchaser for chairlift specialist Pomagalski S.A. He quickly moved on to be an industrial draughtsman and then an international sales technician at Neyrpic's sluices, dams and telecommunications department, while at the same time continuing his higher education by taking night courses. His dream of working at a ski resort was realized at age 30 when he took on the post of Mechanical Lift Sales Manager of the 7 Laux resort in Isère, where he put into place a sales service department, a central reservation system, and various tourism products in the domestic and international markets. Just a year later, he became the General Manager of the resort.
In 1991, Jean-Marc SILVA changed course and headed to the salt air of Brittany, where he served as Sales and Marketing Manager of tour operator Vacances Morvan and Condors Ferries in Saint-Malo, thus learning the ropes of operating a travel agency, a tour operator, local reception and maritime transport.
But the call of the mountain proved stronger, and he did not hesitate, two years later, to apply to become Director of the Tourism Office of Arcs–Bourg St. Maurice, a post that he would occupy for nearly ten years. He went on to create the central reservation system Agence de Voyages des Arcs and developed promotion and marketing within the new Tourism Office.
In 2000 he witnessed the arrival of North American group Intrawest, which planned to build a village resort in Arc 1950. In 2003 he left the Tourism Office to manage the Resort Club Arc 1950 thus embarking on a grand adventure which was set in motion by Alpine resorts with an investment amounting to 250 million euros, at the same time as the emergence of Paradiski (Les Arcs-La Plagne ski area).
Created at the initiative of three founding members—ANMSM led by Gilbert BLANC-TAILLEUR, the Syndicat National des Téléphériques de France (SNTF) headed by Pierre LESTAS, and the Syndicat National des Moniteurs du Ski Français (SNMSF) whose president is Gilles CHABERT—this association brings together all the partners and actors of the sector such as ski areas with SNTF, ski monitors with the SNMSF, tourism institutional bodies with Atout France, the Regional Tourism Committees (CRT), the Confédération Pyrénéenne, the Departmental Tourism Committees (CDT), mountain resorts, manufacturers and retailers of sporting gear, accommodation establishments, etc.