“We will send heavy” … The government’s plan to attract vacationers this summer

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Tourists take pictures of themselves in Toulouse, in the summer of 2020. – FRED SCHEIBER / SIPA

  • The French government is banking on digital to attract tourists this summer.
  • A slogan (“What really matters”) and visuals were unveiled on Tuesday.
  • Other European countries are looking to attract travelers for the holidays.

Despite the suits and ties and masks, it was more beach and pétanque atmosphere this Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism, has indeed come to unveil the communication campaign designed to attract tourists for the holidays. The economic stake is considerable, since the sector represents approximately 7% of the GDP in normal times, that is to say 57 billion euros. Revenue that was halved last year because of the coronavirus.

To make this “national treasure” grow again, as Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne calls it, we must therefore convince as many people as possible to come and spend their holidays with us. Obviously, France is not the only one to have had this idea. According to a study by ForwardKeys quoted by AFP, Greece thus positioned itself very early, and with success, in the niche of international tourism. In mid-April, it announced that it was opening its borders to vaccinated people, which resulted in almost immediate reservations from the United States and the United Kingdom. The island of Malta, for its part, offers checks of 200 euros to spend on the spot. In addition to these two examples, Italy and Spain also appear to be serious competitors.

A slogan: “What really matters”

“Communicating earlier would not have been reasonable. Now that the sanitary conditions are improving, we are at the right time, ”said Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne on Tuesday. To distinguish itself from other tourist markets, France “will send heavy” he assured. In fact, this will result in a digital campaign with a budget of 10 million euros.

Two targets are targeted: French tourists, whom the government would like to see stay in France during the summer, and Europeans, who represent the majority (75%) of foreign visitors. To seduce all these little people, Instagram-style visuals will therefore be widely distributed, accompanied by a slogan in several languages: “What really matters” (see below).

A visual of the campaign to promote tourism in France, with the slogan What really matters
A visual of the campaign to promote tourism in France, with the slogan What really matters – Atout France

A still fragile health reality

The goal is to ride the wave of everyone’s “priorities”, which would have been redefined by the Covid-19 crisis. “At the end of a year of forced withdrawal, everyone now aspires to reconnect with what they really lacked in recent months,” says Atout France, the body responsible for promoting the country abroad. He promises to highlight “experiences promoting a return to basics around people, sharing, conviviality, but also eco-responsibility. “

A beautiful speech that does not remove all the uncertainties surrounding the coming months. If France foresees a quasi “return to normal” at the end of June, “emergency brakes” can nevertheless be activated in the event of a sudden epidemic rise, with the implementation of new restrictions. In addition, even if the incidence rate has fallen below the bar set by Emmanuel Macron (400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), it remains well above the alert threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 set last year. . “At any time, we can suspend communication if the situation deteriorates,” explained Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

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