Pont du Gard

Tourism: a major asset for the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée region


With 30 million tourists a year who spend €14 billion in the Region, the tourist economy in Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée is the Region’s 2nd most important industry, ahead of aerospace and construction


Key figures 

Tourism in Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée


A highly attractive Region


Beyond the Mediterranean coast (215km of coastline, 20 seaside resorts), Occitanie’s great appeal lies in the diversity of its tourist offer:


Heritage and cultural tourism

  • No. 1 in terms of number of sites on the Unesco World Heritage List (8 sites:Episcopal City of Albi, Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct), Cirque of Gavarnie, City of Carcassonne, The Causses and The Cévennes, Canal du Midi, Fortifications of Vauban, Routes of Santiago de Compostela)
  • No. 3 in terms of historic monuments (4,500) and music festivals


Nature tourism

  • 38 mountain resorts
  • 14 sites listed as Grands Sites de France
  • 2 national parks, 1 marine nature park, 6 regional nature parks 


Pleasure boating and water sports

  • 28 maritime ports, 105,000 registered boats, 33,000 berths
  • Europe’s largest marina (Port Camargue: 5,000 mooring rings)
  • 1,790 businesses in the pleasure boat sector
  • World’s leading catamaran builders (Atelier Outremer, Catana, Swiss Catamaran)


 “Thermalism and Wellness”

  • No. 1 Region in France
  • 166,000 spa visitors, 30 spa resorts


Wine tourism

  • Over 100 estates open to wine tourism
  • Strong presence on the export market through the Region’s representative offices
  • Regional structure specifically for this sector via an ambassadors club


Tourism in Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée


The Region’s tourism development strategy


The leading position occupied by the Region as a tourist destination is the result of an ambitious policy deployed over the past few years:


  • Promotion of the Region with the South of France brand aimed at encouraging professionals to offer quality through the “Qualité Sud de France” label.
  • Higher profile with the “Mon Sud de France” application for smartphones and tablets.
  • Development of existing sectors and new markets: cultural and heritage tourism, urban tourism, business tourisms, cruises, ecotourism, wine tourism, thermalism, nature tourism, pleasure boating.
  • Upscaling of the offer (high-end accommodation, luxury hotels).
  • Development of tourism facilities along the coast.
  • Provision of tailored services for high-potential projects.
  • Follow-up and support for major regional and national accounts.



Prospecting strategy for new investors and tour operators


Together with the Region and the rural planning body SAFER, Invest Sud de France has been conducting a strategy of targeted prospection for a number of years now, offering package products to investors and national and international operators.


What are investors looking for?


  • Large land areas (20-80 hectares) to develop theme resorts (wine tourism, equestrianism, polo, golf, etc.).
  • Land in coastal or urban areas for developing theme parks (e.g. Aqualand, mediaeval parks, etc.).
  • Redevelopment opportunities on seafronts or other sites for hotel complexes.
  • Tourist residences or large-scale campsites for developing new, high-end products.
  • Outstanding sites for premium level resorts.


To respond to demands for specific types of product, business opportunities in the Region are identified, packaged and offered to national or foreign accounts.


Currently, around forty investor or tour operator projects have been identified in Occitanie and are being followed up by Invest Sud de France, the Region and SAFER.



Example of a tourist opportunity in the Region: Parc Lépine in Pézenas (34)

Local initiative to host a wine tourism project with accommodation on a private wine estate of 135 hectares.

A call for applications was launched early this year and three potential investors have each applied and presented a development project for the site, with investments ranging from €15M to €35M. One of the applicants will be chosen and the project made public before the end of 2016.


Parc l'Epine


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