La Rochelle
19 December 2016

New initiatives for developing the tourism offer

Cultural tourism and structuring of regional tourism clusters: the Government’s new initiatives for widening France’s tourism offer.
Content published under the Government Cazeneuve from 2016 06th December to 2017 14th May
With the first cultural tourism meetings, held on 16 December, and the eleven new “structuration de pôles touristiques territoriaux” (SPôTT – Regional Tourism Cluster Structuring) contracts that have just been selected to accompany high-quality local tourism products, the Government is committed to renewing and widening the nation’s tourism offer.

First cultural tourism meetings

On 16 December, Audrey Azoulay and Matthias Fekl launched the first cultural tourism meetings at the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris. The meetings seek to strengthen cooperation between tourism professionals and culture professionals and foster development of lasting partnerships by creating a context favourable to their exchanges towards achievement of a common goal.
In Audrey Azoulay’s opinion, France’s cultural riches are the foundations of its excellence, defining a “French-style” art of living. For Matthias Fekl, tourist arrivals are one of the main vectors for transmission of cultural knowledge. They are also of major importance to economic development ensuring the preservation of such cultural wealth.

Which is why the Government has announced:
  • The drafting of a ministerial strategy to promote cultural tourism, in collaboration with public institutions and regional directorates of cultural affairs (DRACs). Conclusions reached during this day of dialogue should contribute to the strategy, which will be finalised in early 2017.
  • Launch of the “cultural season” in February 2017, in order to raise tourists’ awareness of the exhibitions and shows set to take place during the year and which are integral to France’s cultural wealth and attractiveness.
The Ministry is also committed to improving safety in public cultural institutions receiving French and foreign tourists, with a €9M budget and creation of 73 jobs in 2017. As regards festivals, the Ministry is continuing its support of the fonds d’urgence pour le spectacle vivant (live performance emergency fund) with allocation of a further €4M in 2017.
Finally, Audrey Azoulay and Matthias Fekl announced that the two ministries are working together on drafting a new culture-tourism convention designed to encourage common efforts towards development of cultural tourism.

11 new projects promoting tourist destinations of excellence

Launched last August on the initiative of Martine Pinville, the call for projects on SPôTT contracts aimed to select and promote tourist destinations of excellence and assist them in structuring a top-quality local tourism offer.
The Selection Committee, chaired by the Directorate-General for Enterprises (DGE) and composed of representatives of various bodies (Association of French Regions, Département-level Tourism Committee, General Commission for Territorial Equality (CGET), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Atout France and DGE) has just selected eleven SPôTT contracts to complement the twelve contracts chosen following the first call for projects in 2015:
  • The Dolce Via, going down the Ardèche (Auvergne Rhône Alpes)
  • The Roannais, a new gourmet destination (Auvergne Rhône Alpes)
  • “Made in chez nous”, Doubs’ enterprises are open to visitors (Bourgogne Franche Comté)
  • Green tours at the gateways to the Loir (Centre-Loire Valley)
  • Eastern Corsica (Corsica)
  • Roaming Northern Alsace on foot or by bike (Grand Est)
  • Around the Great National Site of Deux-Caps (Hauts de France)
  • Cilaos, return to sources (La Réunion)
  • Le Perche: hiking destination (Normandy)
  • Interior Landes (Nouvelle Aquitaine)
  • The Camargue (Occitania).
The determination to work collectively in implementation of a common strategy, the relevance of the selected theme, the attention paid to the offer’s quality and tourists’ expressed interests all characterise the submissions selected. Together, they help highlight the variety and uniqueness of France’s tourism offer. SPôTT contracts will benefit from 12 days of assistance with cultural engineering from the operator Atout France, funded by the Directorate-General for Enterprises.
The Government’s priority is to keep France’s position as the world’s top tourist destination and consolidate the French tourism market. With this second call for projects, State support has widened to encompass new areas, so helping increase the attractiveness and reputation of French destinations, in all their quality and diversity.