Jean Castex had chosen the bucolic setting of the castles of the Loire to detail on Saturday, November 20 a plan to 1.9 billion euros to revive tourism in France, a sector severely affected by the pandemic, and to strengthen the country as the world’s leading tourist destination .
During the health crisis, the State invested 38 billion euros in aid in the tourism sector which represented in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, 7.4% of GDP and 9.5% of jobs. In 2019, 90 million foreign tourists came to France, generating 170 billion euros in revenue.
Consultation with professionals
This plan, announced in June by the President of the Republic, which was the subject of a consultation with professionals in the sector and communities, will be spread over ten years. Most of it will be made up of loans. With this sum, the government wishes to support the move upmarket, help the development of infrastructure and transport, encourage innovation and digitization, as well as promote heritage.
It also intends to improve training and the attractiveness of trades in the sector, in particular by structuring a “Network of excellence” specialized training in tourism and by organizing communication campaigns.
In detail, 750 million euros will take the form of tourism loans, a tool of the public bank Bpifrance, dedicated to SMEs and VSEs in the tourism sector who need to invest in order to modernize. The government will also offer a 500 million euro tourism stimulus loan, long-term loans from the Bank of the Territories, intended to support major investments by businesses or communities. This device, which already existed, has been revised because it was not used until now due to technical difficulties.
About 650 million euros will take the form of new loans, with a jumble: aid for the most disadvantaged to go on vacation; others to bring exhibitors back to shows and fairs; or even aid to develop responsible tourism. Because the plan also aims to make France the first sustainable tourism destination by 2030, according to Matignon.
The classification of hotels reviewed
To better highlight the hotel offer, the classification of establishments (one to five stars) will be modernized to integrate sustainable development or the digitization of services.
Didier Chenet, president of the union of independent hotel and restaurant workers, the GNI, pleads for a “European ranking allowing foreign tourists to ensure the quality of their accommodation”, tax incentives promoting investment in ecology or digital technology, or to facilitate business transfers: a “Exemption from duties, if the one who takes over undertakes to keep the staff and to invest up to the savings in registration fees”.
The difficult question of EMPs
Roland Héguy, confederal president of the Union des trades et des industries de l’hôtellerie (Umih), the main employers’ union in the hotel and catering industry, greeted on Saturday the “The government’s desire to support the world of tourism in the broad sense”. “On the political will it is positive. Now will the means be sufficient? We’ll see “, he reacted after announcements by the Prime Minister.
His union, however, has not wavered from the main demand of the sector: a spread over 10 to 12 years of the repayment of loans guaranteed by the State (PGE), against four years currently. “It is essential to allow companies to continue to operate and to invest”, explained to AFP Hervé Becam, vice-president of Umih. “We want to prevent our business leaders from finding themselves alone with their banker to negotiate the reimbursement of their EMP. It has to be framed ”, he believes.
The Minister of the Economy seemed to close the door on Tuesday to any “Systematic measure of spreading or abandonment” of the EMPs, the repayment of which must begin in March 2022, by declaring that the EMPs were “693,000 private law contracts to which the State had only provided its guarantee”. However, Bruno Le Maire promised that no company would go out of business because of its inability to repay an EMP.