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MasterCard Destinations – France

Further bolstering its position as a leader in the travel and entertainment market, MasterCard International today announced an exclusive alliance with Maison de la France, the French Government Tourist Office to promote travel and tourism in that country.

This alliance is part of a flagship travel program created by MasterCard called MasterCard Destinations(TM), that allows cardholders to enjoy superior travel packages to popular destinations worldwide. Like other MasterCard Destinations(TM) programs for Mexico and China, MasterCard Destinations(TM) – France leverages strategic relationships that MasterCard has formed with leaders in key categories of travel and entertainment around the world. The program will be promoted to MasterCard cardholders directly and through its member financial institutions. Additionally, Maison de la France will undertake promotional activities to support MasterCard’s efforts.

France, the world’s most popular tourist destination, accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s travel arrivals, and is one of MasterCard’s largest countries in terms of transaction volume.

“Our partnership with Maison de la France enables us to achieve our joint goals of promoting tourism to key destinations in France and encouraging the use of MasterCard products in the region by offering cardholders excellent travel and entertainment packages”, said Robert J. Wesley, MasterCard senior vice president, Global Product Management and Development. “This alliance is a prime example of how MasterCard is continuing its leadership position in the travel and entertainment market.” In 1996, MasterCard generated more than $100 billion in travel and tourism volume.

“MasterCard’s innovative leadership in the T&E market, as well as its ability to reach a large number of consumers, makes it an ideal partner for Maison de la France,” said Gilbert Trigano, President, Maison de la France. “We see enormous long-term opportunity to grow this partnership and to support France as the world’s number-one travel destination.”

Benefits of the Partnership

Initially, MasterCard Destinations(TM) – France will provide cardholders a directory of select establishments targeted to the sophisticated traveler seeking unique, value-added offers. MasterCard cardholders will be able to obtain the MasterCard Destinations(TM) – France directory by calling 1-888- 888-8306, which will be featured in an upcoming promotional campaign beginning in March 1997. Later in the year, MasterCard Destinations(TM) – France will be further developed to include upscale travel packages that leverage exclusive partnerships with airlines, hotels, restaurants and car rental agencies in France. Cardholders will also benefit from the MasterCard toll-free Global Service(TM) hotline, offering MasterCard cardholders who travel outside their home countries, access to emergency assistance and information services anytime, anywhere.

MasterCard and Maison de la France will work together to support existing Maison de la France promotional programs, including travel agent seminars and events, joint advertising campaigns and promotions posted in the “1997 France Discovery Guide,” an upscale travel publication distributed to more than 500,000 readers via such channels as the “France On-Call” hotline, travel agencies and airport lounges. Furthermore, the partnership will provide consumers and travel agents with a series of specialized itineraries for travel in France as well as new publications, such as a guide for the individual business traveler, and a “France Good Value” guide.

MasterCard Destinations(TM) – France takes on increased significance in light of MasterCard’s sponsorship of the World Cup of Soccer, the most popular sporting event in the world, which is being held in eight cities throughout France in 1998.

MasterCard International, a payments company with one the world’s most recognized brands, is dedicated to helping more than 23,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a variety of payment options. MasterCard remains focused on helping shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange. MasterCard has nearly 380 million credit and debit cards that are accepted at more than 13 million acceptance locations worldwide. In 1996, gross dollar volume generated was almost $550 billion.

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