Minister Laurent Fabius
12 June 2015

A tourism development strategy

France is currently the world's leading tourist destination, although there is still some room for growth in terms of visitors received and revenue generated. This is why the Government has decided to introduce a national tourism promotion strategy.
Accounting for over 2 million jobs and 7% of GDP, tourism is a strategic sector for the French economy. France is the world's leading destination with 83.7 million tourists in 2014. The aim is to reach 100 million tourists by 2020. Laurent Fabius recently chaired the closing meeting of the Conseil de Promotion du Tourisme (Tourism Promotion Council), responsible for outlining a strategy for 2020. The council worked on six fields: gastronomy and oenology; destinations and brands; the digital sphere; hotel business; business tourism and shopping; and reception, communication and training.
Therefore, of the 40 proposals in the Council's report, Laurent Fabius has initially selected twenty or so, which include the following:
  • Improving reception facilities, which must become a national priority, whilst ensuring good travel preparation (facilitating the acquisition of visas, enriching the tourist content of the global media) and that everything runs smoothly.
  • Adopting a coherent promotion strategy based on a limited number of world-famous destination brands to focus both efforts and financial resources.
  • Developing digital technologies: overhaul of the tourist promotion portal, high-speed broadband coverage in the main tourist areas, adoption of an electronic “citypass” in the Ile-de-France region and clarification of contractual relations between traditional players in the tourist sector and professionals in the digital sphere. The adoption of two significant measures by the National Assembly on Wednesday 10 June reflects this: creation of a mandate agreement between hoteliers and major booking centres, and the withdrawal of the pricing parity clause.
  • Promoting occupations in the tourism industry and improving training for professionals, placing the emphasis on foreign language skills, service quality, digital expertise and general culture. The creation of a conference of establishments of excellence is essential to improving the visibility of training programmes. The creation of a research chair devoted to tourism should help better unite the academic and professional spheres within the sector. Online training will be developed.
  • The introduction of a tourism investment strategy with the creation of a special investment fund (Tourism Investment Fund). This will be created in the autumn and the third future investment programme will include a special tourism component, available to businesses as of 2016. Bpifrance has also introduced a funding service for professionals in the tourism industry. 
  • Support for initiatives showcasing regional and product diversity. The “European Heritage Days” will henceforth incorporate intangible heritage, gastronomy in particular. Owing to the success of its first edition, the “Goût de France” (Taste of France) initiative will be repeated in 2016. A “ranking of gastronomic rankings” will be launched in the autumn to introduce greater transparency in international rankings.
This tourism strategy will be reviewed at the first annual tourism conference to be held in October in the presence of all professionals in the sector and the relevant ministers.

France still world's No. 1 tourist destination in 2014

The annual survey of visitors from abroad on international tourism in France, conducted by the Directorate-General for Enterprise ... [Read more]
8 April 2015