The 16th edition of Rendez-vous en France, the French tourism industry’s top international B2B trade show, took place in Paris, in the Île-de-France Region, on March 21 and 22, 2023.
Record international tourism revenues (€58 billion in 2022) prove that travellers are returning to France in droves, particularly Europeans and Americans. This is a testament to the vibrancy and attractiveness of the French tourism sector.
With the support of longstanding partners, especially Air France and SNCF, the Paris Region Tourist Board, and the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2023, the goal this year was to present international distributors with high-quality and sustainable tourism products that are constantly being updated. This is even more important as France prepares to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games, which are taking pride of place at the show this year.
This 2023 edition aimed to help the 660 French exhibitors bolster their business contacts with tour operators from around the world to improve their international reach. To make the best use of their time, exhibitors also set up pre-scheduled meetings with the 786 international tour operators invited by Atout France. With the return of many tour operators from India, Japan, South Korea, and the Middle East after lower numbers last year, this event played a key part in promoting the tourism sector’s transformation and adaptation to today’s challenges, as evidenced by the 26,000 business meetings that were undertaken.
For this 16th edition, Atout France organised 26 familiarisation trips to allow international buyers to explore 13 partner regions. These trips took decision-makers on unique journeys to explore the tourism potential of French destinations by discovering products and services in situ. A special post tour in Paris was also organised for the Indian delegation by the Paris Region Tourist Board, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and their local partners. The post tour made for an insightful discovery of Paris and its attractions.
The various trips were designed to showcase the destination and its products, particularly the latest attractions (Michelin-starred restaurants and bistros, well-known or lesser-known sites, accommodations, tourist sites, events, and so on). They also provided an opportunity to promote certain themes (wine tourism, gastronomy, savoir-faire, urban tourism, golf, cycling, culture, etc.) to international clients. These educational trips are a powerful tool to encourage buyers to schedule visits to these destinations in the short or long term.
As the world’s top tourist destination, Paris and its region are constantly innovating to keep attracting visitors, with new sites and activities each year, unique events and exhibits on the programme, and some of the best accommodation options in Europe.
Paris will host the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024, which provide an exciting opportunity to develop and update the tourism offering to welcome the entire world, while the Rugby World Cup will give the city the chance to highlight its best attributes.
Paris Region is the top destination in Europe for business tourism and a global platform for business clientele, with the expected return of 10.5 million business visitors in 2023 thanks to the sector’s recovery. Paris Region is preparing itself by constantly expanding its offering with the opening of new sites and event spaces to host big events.
The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Paris Île-de-France Regional Tourist Board are actively working to make the destination accessible, sustainable, and remarkable. The 2023 Rendez-vous en France served as a perfect moment to display this progress to the entire world.
Sheetal Munshaw, Director Atout France India
“India was formidably represented at the Rendezvous en France showcase this year through a delegation of 28 trade partners pan India and 4 B2B journalists. Through 2 full days of fruitful interactions with our French suppliers, our Indian partners were able to update their product knowledge on France, learn about new products and fortify existing relationships. Our delegation, including the media, were able to experience the diverse touristic offering of France through pre and post tours that took place in different French regions such as Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Grand Est, Occitanie and Paris.
With outbound travel back in full flow, we are confident that France will continue to stay on top of the Indian visitor wish list and the demand for France will further increase thanks to major sporting events that will take place in France in 2023 and 2024 – notably the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2024. As part of a press conference focused exclusively on the subject of major events 2023-2024 our CEO, Ms Caroline Leboucher alongside Mr Thierry Rey – Paris 2024 Special Advisor and Mr Fabrice Favetto-Bon – Paris 2024 General Manager for On Location shared the road map of how France is gearing up for the Olympic Games and the varied hospitality offerings that visitors can look forward to as they witness this historic moment in France.
In addition, our global strategy will also integrate sustainable travel and its importance in the tourism landscape. France has been at the forefront in adapting sustainable practises in the domain of tourism and will continue to reinforce its positioning and strategy in this domain. This was showcased through a second press conference whereby 13 hallmark destinations in France unveiled their top most and unique travel experiences through a sustainable lens.”
Reactions from Indian Travel Trade
Anoop Kanuga, Director, Bathija Travels Pvt. Ltd
I had interesting meetings with B2B suppliers, and got to learn about different regions in France which would appeal to repeat travellers. The show was very well organised, and so was the post FAM of Paris. Sheetal Munshaw and her team at Atout France India went out of their way to make this event truly rewarding.
Neelu Samant, Owner/ Director, Quantum Travels Pvt Ltd
This was the first time I attended Rendezvous en France. It was an amazing opportunity for networking and great learning. It was a superb execution by Atout France India team, and great team effort by Sheetal, Shriya, Pusha and Asmita. Each of the region in France has tremendous potential; and a unique charm, which floored me!
Karan Vakharia, Director – Business Development, Pathfinders Holidays Pvt Ltd.
Attending Rendezvous en France 2023 has been an exciting experience even though we have been promoting and selling France since a long time. Although the Atout France roadshow in India does educate us about some of the top travel regions and products of France, it was a great experience to discover and explore lesser-known regions and destinations through this annual event. We have come back richer with knowledge of France, which will help in creating newer and impressive travel itineraries for the destination.