Holding the record in terms of entrepreneurship, Bordeaux, although trailed by its neighbors, Toulouse and Montpellier, will remain the preferred place of French and foreign investors. First a pioneer in viticulture, this tourist region has also become the “Silicon Valley” of innovative startups. In February 2019, the capital of Girona has a dynamism index of 1%, with nearly 900 newly created companies. If the local economic machine remains healthy today, it is because Bordeaux has forged in itself a solid ecosystem geared towards innovation. Innovative companies have earned their place without overshadowing the natives, proof that traditional activities form the economic base of the region. Indeed, the local economy is mainly based on the production, sale, distribution, export of wines, but also wine tourism. Bordeaux has seen a doubling of the number of visitors thanks to wine tourism, and this phenomenon is not about to stop, with the constant interest of tourists for the vineyards, their history, but also the rich foreign investors who came to acquire wineries in the region. Wine tourism, a vehicle for economic development for the region, encourages companies more than strongly to turn to wine tourism (themed excursions, tasting trips) or the great restaurants of Chefs to offer sought-after food and wine pairings, particularly appreciated given the reputation of French gastronomy.
Wine tourism and Bordeaux, a winning duo
Making an excellent wine is an ancestral Bordeaux heritage. Warmly welcoming guests is also an integral part of regional culture. However, between the tourist and wine crank, equities remain scattered until Bordeaux is promoted to Europe’s top wine tourism destination in 2015, after catching up at the national level.
Although wine remains the lung of the local economy, Bordeaux can also count on its cultural heritage to attract more tourists and foreign investors. The reputation of Bordeaux wine is linked not only to its roots, but also to its territorial asset. This first wine region benefits from 119,000 hectares of vineyards classified in AOC and AOP. All these reasons put it ahead of Toulouse and Montpellier when it comes to wine tourism.
Wine tourism also owes its expansion in the region, to the expansion of road and air infrastructure, thus promoting the opening of Bordeaux’s borders to the rest of the world. The ASL Airline France is increasing its direct connections between Bordeaux and London. The local installation of two low-cost airlines, including Spain’s Volotea and Britain’s Easyjet, has also boosted the increase in air traffic in the region, making Belle Endormie more accessible. The public transport network has also grown in volume, with the extension of its tram lines, and the development of bus lines through the Bordeaux Urban Community. The metropolis now has 120 resorts with the opening of the D line which serves wine-growing places such as Le Bouscat and Eysines.
Bordeaux attracts twice as many tourists as Toulouse and Montpellier
The old Atlantic market town attracts twice as many tourists as Toulouse and Montpellier, thanks in part to the development of wine tourism. The authorities, as well as local actors, have mobilized to promote the destination. The opening of the “Cultural and Tourism Centre of Wine”, the setting up of 52 vineyard discovery circuits, the launch of the six wine routes, tasting activities, hikes and accommodation are all activities carried out since 2005.
Not far from Bordeaux, Toulouse, the pink city, paradise for holidaymakers, seduces tourists for its coastal setting and authentic landscapes. Wine tourism is less influential, however, as the region is more geared towards seaside activities and aerospace. However, Toulouse does not remain insensitive to wine tourism and its opportunities. In 2016, the Fronton was awarded the “Vignobles and Discoveries” label thanks to the toulouse city’s promotional efforts. In Occitania, the development of wine tourism is timid, but Montpellier does not remain amorphous. This dynamic city with a variety of economic hubs is also closely interested in the terroir and wine culture. Local players have cooperated to offer a comprehensive offer
to generate more impacts on tourist stays. As a service package, guests will now benefit from a homogeneous and wider offer in terms of catering, accommodation, cultural tours, vineyard discoveries and wine tastings. In the end, Bordeaux remains the first choice of destination for wine tourism, but these two destinations are not lagging behind.
Throughout the world, Bordeaux wine enjoys a very good reputation, exporting to the world and attracting every year many tourists curious to visit the estates and taste the best grape varieties of the world directly in the heart of the Domains. Bordeaux’s privileged geographical location also offers tourists the opportunity to enjoy the ocean, the mountain and many other landscapes that are very popular because of their variety.
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