Fifth Interministerial Tourism Committee meeting
This morning, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe brought together major players in the tourism industry for an interministerial meeting alongside Christian Mantei, Chairman, and Caroline Leboucher, Group CEO of Atout France. The Tourism Plan that he announced outlines the numerous concrete measures for providing support to this sector, which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.
During the fifth Interministerial Tourism Committee meeting, the Prime Minister stressed that ‘tourism was probably facing the toughest test in its modern history even though it is one of the jewels of the French economy.’
A one-off support plan, devised in partnership with major players from different industries, has been presented. It concentrates on three areas:
- Health measures, information and reassurance for travellers.
- Support for tourism-related businesses and both sporting and cultural events, in order to ‘move from emergency to recovery.’ A total of €18 billion will be spent on this.
- Preparing a contract for tourism recovery and transformation.
Atout France has been enlisted to perform the following tasks as part of this Tourism Plan:
- With regard to necessary health measures providing reassurance and allowing tourism activities to resume, the Agency will work on bringing together dynamic industry players under one initiative and one distinctive logo which will encourage everyone to identify and pass on health protocols across all tourism activities. It will also be involved with the national campaign promoting these protocols, which will be rolled out by the Government’s Information Service.
- Starting in June 2020, a communication campaign will be run by Atout France, in partnership with relevant public-sector and local tourism professionals, to assist with the recovery of the tourism sector and encourage people to travel in France.
- Financial support for engineering in local areas across France will be significantly increased by the Banque des Territoires and, in particular, capacity building together with Atout France reinforcing the France Tourisme Ingénierie initiative.
- Atout France will be fully committed, alongside the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry for the Economy and Finance, Welcome City lab, Banque des Territoires and Bpifrance, to supporting digital innovation and transformation in the tourism sector. Atout France and Welcome City lab will publish a call for projects to businesses and start-ups that are willing to suggest innovative solutions to help build the tourism of tomorrow. An online platform for sharing data on France’s tourism offering will be set up as part of the project to foreshadow the digital component of the tourism recovery plan, put together by the Banque des Territoires with contributions from Atout France.
- Lastly, Atout France will play an active role developing roadmaps for different sectors and territories and contribute to the discussions to be organised under the authority on the tourism sector committee in preparation for the tourism recovery and transformation contract, due in autumn 2020, with a first round of feedback in July 2020. Atout France will propose a comprehensive formalisation process with local authorities that are experienced in tourism, as well as the Regions (several of which are already involved).
Reopening the sector:
The Prime Minister also made several announcements on ‘reopening’ the sector:
- The reopening date for cafes and restaurants will be decided in the weekcommencing 25 May. In ‘green’ départements, it may be possible to reopen on 2 June if the current state of the epidemic doesn’t worsen;
- French people will be able to go on holiday in France in July and August (overseas territories included);
- The hotel and tourism industries have committed to promising a full refund to anyone who has cancelled a reservation or had a reservation cancelled for Covid-19-related reasons;
- Finally, the Government is putting in place a plan more specifically related to social tourism, which will allow everyone to go on holidays and business trips. It will be presented in the coming weeks.
The next meeting to set the dates for reopening is scheduled for the end of May.
Welcoming foreign travellers:
On May 7, at the press conference following the presentation of the deconfinement plan by the Prime Minister, the Minsiter of Interior Christophe Castaner indicated that restrictions on France’s borders with countries in the European area (European Union, Schengen area, United Kingdom) would be “extended until at least 15 June”.He also explained that the draft law extending the state of health emergency provides for measures of fourteen day quarantine “for any French or foreign person entering France”. “At this stage, given the evolution of the epidemic in Europe and the alignment of health measures between European countries, these measures will not be applied within the European area