Francophonie Week - Tourism, Culture and & Francophonie
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
Rose Garden Palace, 20th March 2017
1.Why tourism, culture and francophonie, and why in Rose Garden Palace?
Two main reasons:
•Francophonie is not only a matter of speaking French. Francophonie international organization is an Open organization trying to promote values such as respect for human rights, promotion of our culture and our heritage. Our language, writers, our environment, our natural environment and our monuments are all part of our heritage.
Preserving this large heritage is part of the action of the Francophonie organization.
What means tourism? For us it means sharing our culture, and for the foreign visitors, it means discovering another culture, another heritage.
•This event is a great opportunity to promote a private initiative to preserve your heritage, the Rose Garden Palace. This is a way to show that you can develop a cultural tourism through preserving and promoting your heritage.
2.Tourism is also an important economic sector.
France is the first destination for tourists coming from all over the world. Last year 83 M people visited France, 84.5 M in 2015. Our goal is to have 100 M tourists in 2020. Last year tourism brought around 42 bn € to the country. Tourism represents 7% of our GDP and 2 M jobs in France.
3.Why France is a major touristic destination?
We are very proud of our heritage in France. We have a dedicated department in the ministry of culture, taking care of this heritage, our old castles and monuments in particular. We are attached to our history and our past, as they are part of our identity.
38 monuments are registered as UNESCO World heritage sites, we also have 45.000 registered monuments, 8.000 museums. Tourists come to visit France for various reasons. Many of them come to visit Paris, but the entire country has developed its heritage to share it with the tourists coming from abroad, but also with the French people who want to discover this heritage. International festivals and business fairs also contribute to attractiveness.
4.Developing tourism needs a strategy.
The State Secretary in charge of the promotion of tourism is located at the French ministry for foreign affairs and international development. This is to show off how important tourism is in our foreign action. We have about 30 offices abroad, called Atout France, to promote the French destination. But to have nice places to show and a heritage to promote is not enough. We must have airport capacities, hotel commodities, you must have the capacity to welcome the visitors and give them the opportunity to appreciate the good conditions of the tourist offer. This is what my country has been working on for decades. You have also developed a branding strategy for Paris and our regions. The private and public sector sit together to develop regional branding strategies federating all of them, to promote their region as a brand outside. Under this umbrella, they develop a coherent communication to promote the specific heritage of their region, its culture, its environment… In France, we will have one major initiative and two mega-events around which, hopefully, we will continue to promote our country to develop tourism.
Paris is developing the idea of the Greater Paris. It will integrate the areas around Paris and will be develop in an integrated way in order to prepare the 22nd century. This project which has started by an international architecture competition for around 50 projects will be an opportunity to promote our country all over the world.
Paris is also candidate for the 2024 Olympic Games and for the 2025 Universal Exhibition. We hope we will have the privilege to organize these two mega-events, therefore creating new opportunities to promote our country and attract tourism./.