Summer Destination, Cape town on Bordeaux the Surprising

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The largest French region, New Aquitaine offers extraordinary summer holiday opportunities. Nature, large spaces, heritage, sea front… the neo-Aquitaine territory evokes atmospheres and settings as varied as surprising. A real economic engine, the tourism industry generated 12.3 billion euros, or 8% of the regional GDP. With 28 million tourists each year, New Aquitaine continues to attract newcomers. As the warm weather approaches, our beautiful region becomes a popular place for summer holidays.

New Aquitaine, leader in the tourism sector

At the beginning of July 2019, on the occasion of the launch of the major holidays, Trainline, a railway company, published its barometer of the French destinations most popular with international tourists for summer holidays. Outside Paris, Bordeaux is the second preferred destination after Lyon for international tourists. The Bordeaux metropolis has thus gained 13% of attendance compared to last year. These very good results are to be contextualized in relation to the attractiveness of the major French metropolises. Among the segment of international tourists, the city of Bordeaux and its surroundings is chosen mainly by English and Americans but also Germans, Australians and Belgians.

New Aquitaine thus appears as a leader in the tourism sector: evidenced by the multiple labels that benefit its territories. There are no less than 498 sites labelled “Tourism Quality”. Thus, by relying on destination contracts, the regional tourism policy of New Aquitaine allows to meet the expectations of international and domestic tourists. Prestigious brands shape its territory: Bordeaux and the City of Wine, Lascaux and the Dordogne Valley, Biarritz and the Basque Country, Poitiers and futuroscope, Cognac, Pau and the Pyrenees, Limoges and its artisanal know-how, etc. There are 14 territory marks. New Aquitaine therefore relies on an overall quality of its tourism offer in order to mitigate the imbalances generated by tourist flows.

While the tourism sector contributes greatly to regional economic development, there are still many areas for improvement. For example, in New Aquitaine, the economic benefits are below the national average. This is why the Regional Tourism and Leisure Development Scheme involves several areas of reflection.

Places still unknown for your summer

The natural capital of the New Aquitaine region is undeniable: with 750 km of sandy coastline, the Neo-Aquitaine territory is home to a jewel of sand, the Pilat dune watching over the Arcachon basin. The territory thus has several advantages: it is home to a reserve classified as a “Unesco World Biosphere” which is none other than the Dordogne Valley. On the heritage side, New Aquitaine has to its credit 28 “most beautiful villages in France”, 23 municipalities labelled “Little Cities of Character” and 27 cities classified as “Cities and Countries of Art and History”. Tourism, however, remains concentrated on the coast and the summer period. Yet while the New Aquitaine destination is home to holiday ideas particularly identified by tourists, almost wild places are still unknown.

In 2019, many new ideas for staying are to be discovered. For this summer holiday, for example, it will be possible to discover the Futuroscope on the theme of sustainable development. Environmentally friendly practices make it possible to enhance the entire regional territory by relying on local tourism.

This novelty strategy aims to retain a clientele that has already visited New Aquitaine. In order to maintain the attractiveness of its territories and therefore their economic and social development, the New Aquitaine Region relies on the development of so-called “innovative” tourism. The aim is to adapt to changes in the use of tourists. This is the case, for example, with the abbey of Saint-Savin, where the visit is made using a digital tablet.

Branding and territorial strategy

By developing a new offer, New Aquitaine wants to optimize the experience before and after the stay of tourists who are more demanding. In order to also improve its brand image, New Aquitaine aims to become the first sustainable tourist destination. However, this tourism development strategy must be able to achieve the territorial balance which is a key issue. It is to meet this objective that tourism competence is now shared among communities. Finally, proposing new destinations is a special targeting for New Aquitaines who have a prescribing role to play.


Trainline Barometer July 2019

Regional Tourism and Leisure Development Scheme

The New Aquitaine Aid Guide

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