Le Grau du Roi - France
22 January 2018

Promotion and investment: two priorities of an ambitious policy for tourism

The 2nd Interministerial Council for Tourism (CIT), which met on 19 January 2018, is considerably scaling up the means devoted to the two priorities underpinning an ambitious tourism policy: promotion of the sector worldwide, with the focus of increasing demand, and investment, with the aim of improving supply in the tourism industry.
 

The Government has made tourism a priority and set its sights on receiving a target 100 million international tourists in 2020 and €50bn in economic revenue. The CIT was set up in July 2017 for the purposes of supporting the tourism sector and achieving these goals.

Its first measures have particularly borne fruit: 8 new countries now benefit from the issuance of visas in less than 48 hours, queues have been reduced in the departure and arrival halls of Parisian airports and an annual €4m is ring-fenced for cleaning motorways for example.

The 2nd CIT meeting has considerably scaled up the means devoted to the two priorities of an ambitious tourism policy: promotion and investment.

2nd Cross-Government Tourism Council

Unprecedented efforts to promote tourism

The Government has decided to allocate a set amount of State funding to the operator Atout France: 3% of the revenue from the issuing of visas. This amount (around €6m) will leverage funding from both the regions and the private sector: the mission on financing promotion has confirmed the substantial commitments on the part of the leading French tourism stakeholders. An additional €6m in private funding is thus expected to be unlocked for the benefit of promotion from this year.

This all brings the additional budget available to France for the purposes of promoting tourism abroad to a total €15m, from 2018. Ultimately, the aim is to reach €1 of promotion per tourist welcomed in 2020.

French cuisine, a key asset

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, the French gastronomic meal is one of the symbols of French-style excellence. In 2019, three events promoting it will be organised under the heading "Good France/Goût de France" within a short space of time, in late spring:

  1. the annual initiative "Good France/Goût de France" celebrating French cuisine abroad;
  2. the "Davos for foodies" which will turn Paris into the world capital for debates on changing tastes and consumer trends;
  3. the "Fête de la Gastronomie", a flagship festival for the general public where professionals can share their talents, know-how and local produce (by serving up banquets, tasting sessions, picnics, workshops, lectures and more).

Bolstered investment

Tourism is a tremendous tool at the service of local area development, and an invaluable means of creating wealth in the countryside, mountains and coastal areas.

A series of concrete measures has been rolled out to turn tourism to best account and leave behind certain economic models which are reliant on tax credits and generate a dependence on tax expenditure:

  • On simplification, especially for small establishments: setting in motion the reform of the rated resorts scheme and ranking of tourist information offices, revision of the rating system of tourist accommodation sites (camp sites, tourism residences), helping the smallest tourist accommodation sites to become more accessible.
     
  • On support: creation of a one-stop shop for expertise so that project leaders can effectively benefit from the State's services. Dubbed "France Tourisme Ingénierie", this partnership-based tool – for which Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) has teamed up with the future National Agency for Local Areas – will be tasked with supporting local areas and private project leaders.
     
  • On funding: CDC is poised to step up its action as an investor in local areas by pledging to invest €500m over 5 years from its Central Sector. This comes in addition to the doubling in the budget (€200m) of the public investment bank Bpifrance and easing in lending conditions for the hospitality sector.
     
  • On the improvement of certain rules of urban planning law: This particularly involves enabling more precise zoning of the destination of constructions in local urban development plans, adjusting the rules of co-ownership and strengthening the binding nature of tourist development agreements.
     
  • On incentive schemes: brainstorming on the matter is entrusted to the General Finance Inspectorate (IGF) and General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD).
     

National operator Atout France will undergo a radical overhaul to best support this national strategy, grounded in international promotion and provision of engineering expertise at local level.

 

Ongoing commitment to keeping tourists safe
In accordance with the Tourism Safety and Security Plan adopted in 2016, the CIT provided an opportunity to review the measures taken since:
  • Setup of the Département-level "Tourism Safety and Security" Council: This coordination body has now been set up in 72 départements, and is in the process of being established in another 7.
  • Mapping of sensitive sites: 63 départements now have access to mapping of sensitive tourist sites. The exercise is currently underway in another 23.
  • Awarding of the "sécuri-site" certification: launched in the summer of 2017, this certification has been awarded to 559 sites so far, all committed to responsibly applying the appropriate safety and security measures. Another 148 sites are in the process of being certified.
  • Appointment of a single "Tourism Safety & Security" correspondent for each département: this correspondent has been appointed in 94 départements. In Paris, given the diversity and complexity of sensitive tourist sites, 19 correspondents have been named by the Préfecture de Police (Paris Police).