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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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RIVER TOURISM IN FRANCE 17 Feb 2020 04:53 #113841

A professional-looking brochure on the summary of the survey is available here that also contains some additional information about each of the classes of tourism including us - the 'plaisance privée'. Of course, it's in French but I've attached a (sort of) English translation.
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Our sector contributes about 100 million euros out of the total 1,360 million euros that the VNF estimates is generated by waterways tourism. It will be interesting to see the further breakdown.

Pat on the back to all those who took the time to fill in the VNF survey last year. Did anyone get a prize?

(Lisette & Ian)
Catharina Elisabeth

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

RIVER TOURISM IN FRANCE 17 Feb 2020 00:15 #113840

  • Mike Gibbons
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If you're interested in the economics of River (and Canal) Tourism in France then this is the VNF report presented at the recent conference in Auxerre here:


If you'd like the English translation then it's on the SOS Fench Canals! Facebook page or below. Be interesting to hear from those with experience in the tourist trade.

Mike Gibbons

AUXERRE: River tourism in France generates 1.36 billion euros in economic benefits for the territories.

On the occasion of the National Meetings for River Tourism organized on February 5 and 6, 2020 in Auxerre, Voies navigables de France unveils the results of a brand new study devoted to the economic impact of river tourism on the national territory.

With an economic weight of 1.36 billion euros, 6,100 direct jobs and 15.6 million passenger-days, river tourism affirms its dynamism within the French tourist offer and its contribution to the attractiveness of the regions , especially with foreign customers. The economic spinoffs generated by the expense of operators and customers of the 5 sectors of river tourism (river liners, houseboats, sightseeing boats, rental boats without license and private pleasure) are estimated at 1.36 billion euros ( TTC), including around 50 euros of tourist expenses (TTC) per person per day. In terms of attendance, 15.6 million passenger-days (daily visit by a person practicing river tourism) are counted each year. If we reason by tourist regions, we see that the economic weight of river tourism is the most important in the Seine basin (344 million euros HT), in Aquitaine-Occitanie (174 million euros HT) and in the Grand Est (91 million euros excluding tax).

In addition to a general analysis of the sector, each sector of river tourism was studied independently.
1. The activity of river liners contributes significantly to the economic development of the territories. Excluding the Great East, Rhine and Moselle, the economic weight of this sector is 410 million euros including tax for 215,000 passengers transported. There are sources of growth, in particular on the Seine, the Rhône and the Saône. Indeed, the Seine and the Rhône, which each have large reserves of capacity in river tourism, count respectively 19 and 16 river liners for 136 on the Rhine.

2. World leader in the barge-hotel market, the French industry “weighs” 62.4 million euros including tax, transported 14,900 passengers in 2018 and employs 491 people. The hotel barge product is diversifying, from the bike / boat cruise to the very high-end, constituting an opportunity for rural areas, the French art of living remains widely acclaimed by international customers: 90% of cruise passengers surveyed in the part of this study affirmed that the cruise ships and barges-hotels offers were the essential condition for their stay in France.

3. The sightseeing boats are also an engine of territorial attractiveness, due to their presence throughout the national territory. In Paris, these are large capacity boats, with an economic weight of 359 million euros (including tax). In the provinces, the river units are smaller, but just as attractive, with an economic weight estimated at 321 million euros (including tax). The sightseeing boats carried 11 million passengers in 2018 and employ 1,440 people.

4. For its part, the sector of houseboat rental boats without a license generates 110 million euros including tax of economic spinoffs, welcomed 130,000 people in 2018 and employed 587 people. Certain destinations such as the Canal du Midi or the Marne-Rhine canal are particularly popular with tourists in high season.

5. The last sector analyzed, private yachting generates 62 million euros in expenses linked to navigation and 36.6 million linked to boat maintenance. 6.1 million km were covered in 2018 by boaters.

To go further in the analysis, the direct economic impact of a boat in each sector was also measured. Objective: allow private and institutional actors to have more visibility, as for the new financial resources generated on their territory ("new money" coming from other departments or regions, even countries), directly attributable to the installation a new boat or a new activity.

In summary, river tourism can directly contribute to the economic development of territories, particularly rural ones:
if we consider that a river liner generates around 2 million euros "of new money" each year, this sector could create significant additional resources for the regions concerned (Ile-de-France, Normandy and Auvergne -Rhône-Alpes);
a sightseeing boat in Paris generates nearly 1.5 million euros "of new money" each year;
a sightseeing boat in the provinces can bring 800,000 € "of new money" per year;
3 hotel barges can provide nearly € 720,000 in “new money” per year;
a rental base of 20 habitable boats can provide € 660,000 "of new money" per year;
a marina with around 50 berths generates € 150,000 in "new money" per year.

For Thierry Guimbaud, CEO of VNF, "The results of this study clearly demonstrate that river tourism contributes to the attractiveness of the regions. Development prospects are therefore promising even if certain challenges remain: demanding clienteles, in particular in terms of respect for the environment, an offer that needs to find new sources of growth. ”

A precise knowledge of the characteristics of river tourism is an essential tool for the development of the sector, for all the actors concerned. This is the reason why Voies navigables de France conducted this vast study throughout 2019. The synthesis of these results is presented for the first time, during the National Meetings of River Tourism, which are held on February 5 and 6, 2020 in Auxerre. The complete studies for each sector will be released before the summer.
Scope and methodology of the study
To calculate the economic weight of this sector, the different resources linked to the presence of the activity perceived by the economic actors of the territory were taken into account:
expenses incurred by local players by operators (purchases, investments, net wages paid, taxes and charges, social charges, etc.), customers and users (ticket purchases, rentals, land transport, hotels and restaurants, leisure, etc.) and flight attendants (shore expenses);
the economic actors with whom these expenditures are made (companies, households, local authorities, State, etc.).
The study did not include in the national economic weight certain expenses made outside France by professionals (food, various supplies, etc.). These are estimated to be around 200 million euros.
In terms of geographic perimeter, this study concerns all waterways in mainland France (8,500 km), which is a larger perimeter than the only network managed by Voies navigables de France (6,700 km). This study was carried out in 2019 and relates to 2018 baseline data.

With more than 4,000 staff mobilized in the service of the river, Voies navigables de France maintains, operates and develops the largest European network of inland waterways: 6,700 km of rivers, canals and canalized rivers, 4,000 engineering structures (locks, dams, canal bridges, etc.) and 40,000 hectares of public river property.
Through its missions, the establishment meets three major societal expectations:
it creates the conditions for the development of freight transport;
it contributes to land use planning and tourism development;
it provides hydraulic management by guaranteeing the safety of structures and the various uses of water and by fighting against floods and water stress. It also promotes the development of hydroelectricity and preserves biodiversity.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Peter Cawson, Charles Briggs, Lynn Woods, Ian McCauley

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