Destination France Plan, consolidating France's position as a leading destination
This Saturday, during a visit to Amboise, the Prime Minister, accompanied by ministers Alain Griset and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, unveiled the Destination France plan, a plan to relaunch and transform tourism for which Atout France will be strongly mobilized. This follows the Destination France summit held on Tuesday, November 4, 2021 which was chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Last June, in Saint-Cirq Lapopie, the President of the Republic announced the need to provide France with a recovery plan to revitalize French tourism as it emerges from the crisis. Indeed, while the crisis has seriously impacted the sector, it has also accentuated and highlighted the structural challenges it must face while simultaneously accelerating certain trends.
With the Destination France Plan, which has a budget of 1.9 billion euros, the French Government intends to set an actual road map for the development and transformation of the tourism sector over the next 10 years. The goal is to consolidate France's position as the world's leading tourism destination and to become the leading destination for sustainable travel, by making French tourism a sector that promotes excellence, growth and employment, based on a more qualitative, sustainable and resilient model, in line with the new expectations of French and international clients, particularly in terms of ecological transition.
Destination France's ambitions are based on 20 measures in five strategic areas:
1 - Conquering and regaining talent
In order to improve the attractiveness of the professions, particularly in the hospitality and transportation sectors, large-scale communication campaigns will be carried out over 2 year period (€10 million—about $11.25 million), a "tourism professions week" for youth will be organized and a network of schools of excellence in tourism will be identified.
2 - Strengthen the resilience of the sector and support the increase in quality of supply
Structural investments must ensure an upward trend in the quality of the offer, particularly in the area of accommodations and restauration. State provisions for long-term loans will be strengthened. In addition, a new France Tourism Development program, to be managed by Atout France and the Banque des Territoires, with a budget of €2.5m (approx. $2.8 million), will be launched to support the revitalization of the centers of medium-sized cities through the renovation, transformation and preservation of independent hospitality establishments. This program will be supplemented by a €60m (approx. $6.8 million) targeted Banque des territoires investment program. A budget of €100 million (approx. 112.65 million) is also allotted to support the revival of MICE events. The deployment of France Tourisme Observation, a platform managed by Atout France, will make it possible to organize and analyze tourism data for a better in depth understanding of the sector. A public reinsurance mechanism will be set up to secure the market with financial guarantees for travel and tourism operators. Lastly, measures will also be taken to make travel accessible for all.
3 - Promoting and developing French tourism assets
France has major natural and cultural tourist assets, which will be further developed and enhanced thanks to a dedicated budget of €51 million (approx. $58.5 million). Accelerated investment in the preservation of terrestrial and maritime biodiversity will help to reduce the pressure on these ressources. To support the revival of regional cultural tourism that will be more widely shared, the Council of Europe's cultural routes will also be better promoted, as will "savoir-faire" tourism. The engineering support system will be strengthened by €55 million (approx. $61.9) to assist in the development of tourism in the regions, managed by Atout France and the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion.
4 - Responding to the sector's transformation challenges
The Destination France plan aims to make France the number one destination for sustainable tourism by 2030 (and the number one destination for bicycle tourism). The Sustainable Tourism Fund set up as part of France Relance (France Recovery) will be strengthened in order to provide tangible support to stakeholders in the emergence of a respectful offer, with a greater emphasis on slow tourism. The new classification system for accommodations, managed by Atout France and applicable in April 2022, will include, in addition to more stringent quality criteria, more standards to measure sustainability and environmental imperatives. Tools for managing the ecological footprint will be made available to professionals. A specific investment of €44 million (approx. $49.5) will also be deployed to improve and develop sustainable tourism infrastructures such as cycling paths.
Also, in order to support the digital transition of tourism players, a "Tourism Tech" plan will be launched by Bpifrance, Atout France and Business France to support the development of start-ups in the sector, particularly through testing zones, and to encourage the emergence of French "unicorns." Finally, specific support for the digital transition of very small and small and medium sized businesses will be implemented.
5 - Promoting France as a destination and consolidating its market share
In order to ensure that the destination rebounds and to face international competition, a vast consumer, press and trade communication and promotion plan for France will be implemented by Atout France through 2024. The press and and trade will also be offered virtual learning possibilities. This plan will have a budget of €20 million (approx. $22.5 million) to reaffirm France's place as a benchmark destination. The Destination France summit will be continued and organized annually.
In addition, the major international sports events that France will host in the coming years will be opportunities to enhance the attractiveness of France as a destination and optimize the economic benefits. Atout France will promote these events among international tourism stakeholders and will participate in the implementation of training initiatives for taxis and accommodation providers in host destinations to improve the welcome of international visitors in host cities.