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A plan to save the Côte d'Azur tourism industry


Cannes Croisette c. CRT BeharIn a much anticipated and welcomed video conference last November 25th, the Regional Committee of Tourism for the Côte d'Azur (CRT) presented a detailed plan of action to adapt to the various evolutions of the health crisis and save the 150,000 direct and indirect jobs that depend on tourism in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

"It is time to hear the words "tourism", "business tourism" and "events" in the mouth of President Emmanuel Macron... It is one of the sectors most affected by the crisis, and nobody talks about it. The French government should have set up epidemiological scenarios as a form of public health responsibility rather than punishment. I continue to convey this message, even if I sometimes feel a little lonely...".

It started with an introduction that sounded like a blow to David Lisnard, President of CRT Côte d'Azur France. In the company of Claire Behar, General Director of the CRT and more than 400 tourism professionals, institutions and journalists, the Mayor of Cannes confirmed his involvement and his will to "save this sector" in a context where short- and medium-term visibility is still lacking and where the situation remains extremely fragile due to the dramatic consequences of the Covid-19 health crisis as well as devastating effects of storm Alex for the upper and middle Riviera territories.

One plan, 2 objectives

"We must try to do what the French State does not do - that is to say, plan for the future." Thus, the CRT presented its action plan built in total consultation with its institutional partners, the tourist offices, the professionals of the Côte d'Azur tourism and the hotel unions.

In order to meet the challenges of a sustainable recovery of the Côte d'Azur economy, this plan sets a double objective:

  • Step up efforts to reassure existing and loyal clientele
  • Attract new customers to the destination, particularly in France and in local Europe, on a year-round basis, notably on the CSP+ target, in order to halt the fall in the overall average market share;
  • Attracting the new, highly mobile generations (Generation Z, Millenials), who are less sensitive to health concerns, by focusing on new ways of enticing them.

To achieve these objectives, the Côte d'Azur destination has set 7 distinct priority positions, targeted because of their ability to withstand the crisis and their short- and medium-term attractiveness on national and local tourist markets:

  • Sport and outdoor activities;
  • Water sports, a new segment to be highlighted for the destination;
  • Culture, without forgetting gastronomy;
  • The luxury sector, a reassuring offer that attracts a clientele with high purchasing power;
  • Business tourism, a real offensive strategy to reposition the destination;
  • The consumption of leisure activities, to be promoted in particular by tourists and residents;
  • Eco-responsible tourism.

An adaptable action plan for 3 possible scenarios

Anticipate, foresee, prepare... What they reproach the government for, David Lisnard and Claire Behar, General Director of CRT, do not want for our territory.

Flexibility and a very high level of reactivity "are more than ever necessary to respond to changes in the market, the health situation and government decisions".

That's why the Côte d'Azur France CRT has presented its plan of action based on the continuation of its basic strategies (Côte d'Azur France brand strategy, marketing actions including the Côte d'Azur France Pass and the Marketplace and the Tourism Observatory) combined with a new promotional strategy designed according to 3 scenarios, to be deployed according to the sanitary situation and the opening-up of the markets:

  • A basic strategy around the French Marketplace essentially combined with digital actions towards the international market (Webinars, dematerialised workshops, etc.)
  • Option 1: actions oriented towards local European markets, mainly Germany, UK, Italy, Scandinavia, Belgium and Switzerland.
  • Option 2: additional actions towards the "Greater Russia" and long-distance markets targeted in the event of a wider reopening of borders.

On the eve of a new year that promises to be full of challenges for Côte d'Azur tourism, Claire Behar insists on the CRT's support and fighting spirit:

"It's a very complicated and anxiety-provoking situation for tourism professionals. Our role is to continue to provide support and to set ambitious goals, depending on the situation. We must fight against the discouragement of our industry professionals, who feel forgotten and whose support does not match what they are experiencing. »

-Marina Carvahlo