French tourism minister Frédéric Lefebvre has unveiled a new national logo as part of the country's push to boost tourism and attract more business visitors.

"/> French tourism minister Frédéric Lefebvre has unveiled a new national logo as part of the country's push to boost tourism and attract more business visitors.

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TOURISM

France seeks to wow tourists with new logo

French tourism minister Frédéric Lefebvre has unveiled a new national logo as part of the country's push to boost tourism and attract more business visitors.

France seeks to wow tourists with new logo

The logo shows a stylised version of the country’s figurehead, Marianne, and features a new strapline, ‘rendezvous en France’.

 

The initiative was launched by tourism minister Frédéric Lefebvre at the French Consulate in New York. He said the new approach was needed as France had lost its number one spot in Europe for tourism. “We may be number one in terms of visitors, but the real challenge is in terms of revenue. We have been overtaken by Spain and the Italians are close behind,” he said. “It’s time to change our strategy”.

 

Official figures from the World Tourism Organisation backed up his claim, showing that France earned $49.4 billion from tourism in 2009, compared to Spain’s $53.2 billion.

 

Responding to a question from a journalist that France was seen by foreigners as arrogant, the minister insisted the country wanted to “show a different side”. He identified the welcome offered to visitors at airports and train stations as key areas to improve.

 

The new design was chosen by over 87,000 voters in an online contest.

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TOURISM

Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.

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