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Terrorist attack in Nice : the Côte d'Azur launches a program to boost tourism

Tourist number dropped by 10%


Rédigé par Aurelie Resch le Lundi 17 Octobre 2016

Following the terrorist attack in Nice, the tourist attendance dropped by 10% during the 2016 summer season. Bernard Kleynhoff, president of CCI Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Eric Doré, chief executive at CRT Côte d'Azur talk to TourMaG.com about their program to boost tourism in the region.



Terrorist attack in Nice : the Côte d'Azur launches a program to boost tourism
TourMaG.comHow did July 14th terrorist attack in Nice impact tourism in the area?


Bernard Kleynhoff : « Numbers show a 10% drop of tourism after the terrorist attack in Nice. It is a loss of 300 000 tourist-packages compared with last season. Hotels lost 20-25% of their sales revenue.


It is an important loss for our destination as it impacts our summer season, normally very important on the French Riviera for our professionals’treasury (90% tourist attendance versus 80% this summer).


The tourism industry has been affected but our professionals collaborated and worked hard to slow down the desertification process. They spontaneously gathered to work on an incentive strategy to attract visitors in our region.


In the Côte d’Azur, the tourism industry represents about 5,5 billion euros of direct consumption and some 150 000 jobs. Tourism is a major industry in our department. This is a major issue. The drop registered this summer is historic and exceptional.

It is important to respect people’s immense sadness in Nice, but we need to move on and to fight back so our economy won’t suffer too much as well.»


TourMaG.com – What nationalities avoided the Côte d’Azur region this summer ?

Eric Doré : « There is no specific nationality we can really say was missing this summer. It actually depends on the markets : French visitors kept on coming but europeans tourists immediately stopped coming after the July 14th terrorist attack. They were already fewer to come to France after the various events that struck our country lately (attacks, strikes, the Brexit, the flood…).


Tourists from around the world (Americans, Asian tourists, Russians) are very sensitive to security issues. The multiple attacks in France and numerous strikes (during Euro events in particular), the agression of Chinese people or celebrities’assaults in Paris didn’t help increase foreigners’confidence in travelling to France.

Russians, Chinese and Japanese tourists showed a 24% to 40% drop during July and August. Yet, we registered an increase of visitors from Scandinavia, Belgium, Spain, Middle East and Asia (excepted from China and Japan).

President
President
TourMaG.com – What are the most affected lines of business?

Eric Doré : « The leisure tourism has been affected. We are vigilant on group tourism for this winter, especially for the following events: Carnival in Nice, Lemon Festival in Menton or Mimosa Festival in Mandelieu.

Hotels need this clientele this winter. The weather forecast in Côte d’Azur is always good but safety issues needs to be clarified to reassure our prescribers and clients.


For the MICE sector, no event has been cancelled. Côte d’Azur keeps on greeting major professional meetings and events. Cannes has even signed up for a 800 attendees convention coming up in November.

The last edition of Cannes Yachting Festival has registered a progression with 51 000 visitors (they were 50 000 last year).


We are now working hard in reassuring each of our prescibers and on responding their concerns regarding their events’ security.


TourMaG.com – What programs did you initiate to bring tourists back to the Côte d'Azur ?

Bernard Kleynhoff : « A few days after the July 14th terrorist attack, we created a Côte d’Azur crisis unit with the Tourism Regional Board and the Nice Côte d‘Azur Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Some 50 key players in the tourism industry joined : the Government, the region, the department, professional unions, hotelers, retailers, leisure parks, airlines, Côte d’Azur airports…


A 1 million euro financing plan (500 000 euros were given by the Conseil Département chaired by Eric Ciotti) has immediately been allocated to targeted actions.

We have developped a positive communication campaign on social medias to reinforce the Côte d’Azur great potential. We use our CotedAzurNow hashtag to feature our «art de vivre » experienced and narrated by real people in real places.


We also work on posters, TV spots and other medias to reinforce our marketing action on a dozen of selected primary countries.

Before the end of the month, we would have greeted more than 70 prescribers (press, event planners, tour-operators, influencial actors) in Côte d’Azur to listen to their feeling and perception on the destination and to respond their demand and concerns.

Because the July 14yh attack has tremenduousy impacted the region consumption and our economy the Nice Côte d’Azur Chambers of Commerce and Industry has relaunched its promotion campaign on the Côte d’Azur business and services. Communities are also playing a major part in displaying the campaign.


We use various formats, visuals featuring real faces and a hook : « team up with azurean economy » to prompt consumers (residents and visitors) to purchase from local businesses.

The region has also voted for an additional 200 000 euro budget to help this recovery plan and the Government (as part of the Emergency Committee for Tourism Economy) will give 10 millions euros to France destination with targeted actions on Paris and Côte d’Azur destinations.


Solidarity also stands in the maintenance of the touristic offer.For this reason the Nice Côte d’Azur Chambers of Commerce and Industry has immediately invested 50 000 euros to relaunch tourism in the region and has also implemented measures to support businesses impacted by the July 14th terrorist attack.

In addition, a single desk has been opened to help with administrative procedures related to maintenaing jobs, financial problems and postponed payments. A 2.6 million euro supporting fund has been allocated to help small business and professionals in difficulty to maintain their activity.


Christian Doré, Chief Executive
Christian Doré, Chief Executive
TourMaG.com : How do you think you will expand tourism in the region between the end of the year and mid 2017 ? What are the major events to come ?

Eric Doré : « Regarding foreign markets, in addition to our actions launched in September in Scandinavia with Atout France assistance, we will send a delegation from Provence Côte d’Azur to China October 16 -22, we will organize a Fam trip ASTA (The American Society of Travel Agents)/ USA /Club in Côte d’Azur for the American market. .

We will also launch communication operations on the European markets (Germany, England, Italy, Austria, Scandinavia, Poland and France) and with our market in Israël.

Specific actions will also be taken with potential professional event planners to attract clients from Germany, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Poland.


Airlines serving Côte d’Azur will also communicate via a Fly2Côte d’Azur device with visitors from the country they respectively come from.


The idea is to work closely with each market, each contact to reassure and to reinforce a positive idea and experience of our destination. Customized actions will defintely help us in our campaign.


TourMaG.com : What do you do to reassure clients concerned to come back to Côte d’’Azur?


Bernard Kleynhoff : « It is a difficult task as no destination can guarantee a 100% security.


Politicians work daily on surveillance and safety plans in our cities. Professionals increase security measures in hotels, leisure parks, tourist sites…

We strongly rely on the Government to impose special safety regulations in our country. France’s image stands in the core of these specific security arrangements.


We need to unite our strenghs and to act with responsibility to defend France’s values and France’s art de vivre. This is what drove us (Mayors, Prefects, departments, planners) to maintain our strategic Fall event : The Nice-Cannes marathon. It will take place November 13, departing Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice and arriving on the Croisette in Cannes. »



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