Better promote heritage, upgrade the offer, encourage innovation and digitization: Prime Minister Jean Castex presented a € 1.9 billion plan on Saturday to revive tourism in France.
This sector has been severely affected by the pandemic, and the government intends to strengthen the country as the world’s leading tourist destination. The stakes are high: the sector weighs: 7.4% of GDP and 9.5% of jobs (figures before the crisis). In 2019, 90 million foreign tourists came to France, generating 170 billion euros in revenue. The government hopes to increase this amount in the coming decade.
During the health crisis, the State invested 38 billion euros in aid in the sector.
A ten-year plan
Traveling in Indre-et-Loire, Jean Castex detailed on Saturday the government investment plan in tourism announced in June by the President of the Republic and of which Matignon presented the main lines on Friday. It will be spread over ten years.
This plan, which was the subject of a consultation with professionals in the sector and communities, will have an envelope of 1.9 billion euros, according to Matignon, mostly made up of loans.
With this sum, the government wishes to support the move upmarket, help the development of infrastructure and transport, encourage innovation and digitization, as well as promote heritage. It also intends to improve training and the attractiveness of trades in the sector, in particular by structuring a “network of excellence” of training specializing in tourism and by organizing communication campaigns.
Mainly loans, 650 million new loans
In detail, 750 million euros will take the form of tourism loans, a tool of the public bank Bpifrance, dedicated to SMEs and VSEs in the tourism sector who need to invest in order to modernize.
The government will also offer a 500 million euro tourism stimulus loan, long-term loans from the Bank of the Territories, intended to support major investments by businesses or communities. This device, which already existed, has been revised because it was not used until now due to technical difficulties.
Around 650 million euros will take the form of new loans, with a jumble of: aid for the most disadvantaged to go on vacation; others to bring exhibitors back to shows and fairs; or even aid to develop responsible tourism.
Because the plan also aims to make France the first sustainable tourism destination by 2030, according to Matignon.
In addition, to better highlight the hotel offer, the classification of establishments (one to five stars) will be modernized to integrate sustainable development or the digitization of services.