France pledges $ 2.2 billion to strengthen appeal to tourists

(Bloomberg) – France is pledging € 1.91 billion ($ 2.2 billion) to help boost the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination in a plan presented by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Saturday.

Renovating hotels, cafes, restaurants and other facilities to make them more environmentally friendly, for example by boosting bicycle tourism, is part of the plan, according to press documents emailed by the Prime Minister’s Office . France will simplify the rules to encourage investment in the tourism industry and make jobs in the sector more attractive.

“We want to capture and reclaim talent,” Castex said, according to an emailed transcript of the speech. “There is an increasingly strong desire for sustainable tourism. France must also offer “better quality” tourism, which will require digital investments, he said.

The goal is to make the country the first sustainable tourist destination by 2030, according to the documents.

European travel and leisure stocks, including Accor SA, collapsed on Friday after Austria said it would enter a new lockdown and Germany would not rule out a similar move amid a spike brutal Covid-19 case.

While there are reassuring signals in France regarding reservations for ski resorts, “the context remains fragile” due to the new pandemic wave hitting Europe, Castex said in his report. speech today.

The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, but France had lost to destinations such as Spain and the United States even before Covid-19, Le Figaro reported earlier. .

The so-called health passes have allowed the French to return to restaurants, cultural venues and travel destinations, but the sector still suffers from a labor shortage, Castex said today. .

The hotelier Accor, Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, which operates holiday villages and residences, and the tourist operator Voyageurs du Monde are among the French values ​​that could be active Monday after the announcement.

(Updates with Premier’s comments, plan details.)

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