Summary of our market study

As of 2020, cultural tourism has remained a significant pillar of the global tourism industry, with an emphasis on France, where it constitutes a key attraction for international tourists due to the country's abundant cultural heritage, including over 8,000 museums and 1,500 festivals. Cultural sites contribute notably to France's economy, not only through the jobs they provide but also through the boost they offer to related sectors such as accommodation, catering, and leisure. 

Cultural Tourism in France: A Flourishing Market

In the vibrant sphere of tourism, the allure of cultural tourism in France continues to flourish, showcasing an impressive trajectory of growth. The nation, steeped in a rich tapestry of cultural heritage, beckons tourists from across the globe, forming a sizeable chunk of the global tourism economy. With an estimated contribution of between 35% and 45% of France's total tourism revenue, cultural tourism stands as a testament to the country's magnetic appeal.

The country is dotted with an astonishing number between 40,000 and 45,000 classified and registered historical monuments, adding depth and diversity to its cultural canvas. Moreover, the prestige of having 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites highlights the global significance of its cultural sites. The impact of France's cultural and heritage offerings extends beyond just drawing international attention. They are the heartbeat of tourist activity within the nation itself, with between 35% and 45% of the French populace indulging in cultural activities while on domestic travels.

The significance of such engagements is twofold—culturally enriching for the individuals and economically fortifying for the regions. In terms of labor, cultural tourism is a robust job creator, contributing to an estimated between 90,000 and 110,000 direct jobs. The ripple effect can be felt across various sectors, particularly in accommodation, catering, and leisure, thereby reinforcing the integrated nature of tourism and local economies. It is clear that cultural tourism is not just an economic engine but a pivotal element of France's identity as a global destination. The allure of its cultural wealth continues to captivate and stimulate the local economy, enshrining culture as the cornerstone of regional tourism strategies.

France's positioning as a cultural tourism hub benefits the national market profoundly, with every cultural footstep translating into economic gain and employment opportunities, thereby securing culture's role as the transformative force in the French tourism market.

Pillars of "L'Art de Vivre": Key Players in France's Cultural Tourism Market

In the vibrant tapestry of France's cultural tourism market, a select group of entities stands out, each playing a crucial role in preserving and showcasing the nation's rich heritage. These actors not only contribute significantly to the allure that brings countless tourists from around the globe but also underpin the socio-economic fabric of various French regions through their dedicated efforts.

  • Museums and Galleries

At the forefront are France's museums, a constellation of over 8,000 institutions that range from the iconic Louvre, housing timeless masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, to specialized establishments like the Musée d'Orsay, which offers an unrivaled collection of Impressionist art. These repositories of history and art not only preserve the cultural treasures of yesteryear but also stimulate contemporary creation and thought through modern installations and avant-garde exhibitions.

  • Festivals

The cultural panorama of France would be incomplete without mentioning its 1,500 festivals, each a celebration of the country's diverse artistic expressions. The Cannes Film Festival rolls out the red carpet for cinematic brilliance, while the Festival d'Avignon turns the spotlight on the performing arts. These grand-scale events are not just entertainment; they're drivers of cultural dialogue and economic prosperity for the hosting communities.

  • Historical Monuments and Sites

The custodianship of France's 44,000 classified and registered historical monuments positions these landmarks as bastions of cultural tourism. From the gothic spires of Notre-Dame Cathedral to the prehistoric paintings in the Lascaux Caves, these sites serve as a bridge to the past and an opportunity for hands-on learning about the nation's architectural and archaeological heritage.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

With 40 cultural landmarks acknowledged by UNESCO, France's heritage sites are showcases of the country's global significance. The châteaux of the Loire Valley, the fortified city of Carcassonne, and Mont Saint-Michel are just a few examples that demonstrate how natural beauty and human ingenuity can coexist, creating timeless attractions that are preserved for posterity.

  • Parks and Gardens:

The green lungs of France contribute to cultural tourism through the scenic and serene parks and gardens dotted across the country. The Gardens of Versailles express the opulence of a bygone era, while the innovative Parc de la Villette in Paris blends modern landscapes with cultural facilities, offering a respite from the urban hustle. 

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Cultural tourism is defined by the World Tourism Organization as tourism focused on cultural attractions and products, and is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry worldwide, accounting for an estimated 40% of all global tourism revenues in 2018.france has a cultural heritage conducive to this type of tourism, with more than 8,000 museums, 1,500 festivals, 44,000 classified and registered historical monuments, 40 cultural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, parks and gardens, not to mention scientific, technical, intangible heritage and the art of living.

The cultural and heritage offer represents one of France's main assets to attract international tourists. But not only that, since every year, about 40% of French people practice a cultural activity in the country during a tourist trip. In 2018, cultural tourism accounted for 100,000 direct jobs, and feeds indirect jobs in other areas, particularly in the field of accommodation, catering and leisure.

Cultural tourism is therefore a vector of attractiveness of France and of the economic development of the territories. In fact, the tourist traffic generated by cultural sites has a direct impact on the economic development of territories, both in terms of employment and economic revenue. Thus, culture has become the catalyst for local tourism strategies.

1.2 Le marché mondial du tourisme culturel

Le marché mondial du tourisme culturel est en pleine expansion, renforcé par un intérêt croissant pour la découverte de cultures. Il devrait ainsi croître avec un TCAC de **,*% dans les années à venir, et atteindre *,** milliards de dollars en ****. 

Marché mondial du tourisme culturel Monde, ****-****, en ...

1.3 La France, une des premières destinations de tourisme culturel

La filière du tourisme culturel participerait à hauteur de *,*% au Produit Intérieur Brut français. Parmi les touristes étrangers se rendant en France, **% voyageraient sur une motivation culturelle. [***]

Si la crise sanitaire a mis un coup d'arrêt important en ****, activités touristiques et culturelles ont pu reprendre en **** et ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Caractéristiques du tourisme culturel et profil des touristes

Selon le CBI (***), le tourisme culturel se définit par des caractéristiques en termes de voyage, d'activités et de démographies, ainsi que de caractéristiques personnelles des touristes culturels. 

Voyage : durée & dépenses

Les voyages de tourisme culturel seraient en moyenne plus longs que les autres voyages. ...

2.2 Les Français et le tourisme culturel

Si les touristes étrangers viennent en partie en France afin d'en découvrir le patrimoine particulièrement riche, une grande partie du tourisme culturel en France vient en réalité des Français eux-mêmes qui voyagent au sein du pays et en visitent les monuments, les musées et se ...

2.3 La saisonnalité de la demande

Si certains événements culturels, et notamment les festivals, sont particulièrement saisonniers, on observe aussi une demande particulièrement saisonnière avec une hausse de la fréquentation des lieux culturels l'été. En effet, on observe une croissance progressive des visites à partir du mois de mars ; elles culminent au ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Chaînes de valeur du tourisme culturel

Le marché du tourisme culturel impacte une grande diversité d'acteurs. On trouve des acteurs publics comme les Offices de Tourisme. On retrouve ensuite des agences de voyages et tours opérateurs qui prennent parfois en charge les voyages des touristes culturels. Enfin, on retrouve également de nombreux acteurs liés à des ...

3.2 Les agences de tourisme culturel

Le tourisme culturel est un marché à part entière qui implique un grand nombre d'acteurs, à la fois dans la logistique du voyage (***). Afin de faciliter cette organisation, et comme c'est le cas pour les autres types de voyages, des organismes se sont positionnés sur ce marché. Voici la chaîne ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Les sites patrimoniaux français : musées, monuments et sites culturels

Il y a en **** en France plus de ** *** immeubles inscrits ou classés au titre des monuments historiques. *** lieux sont gérés par le Centre des monuments nationaux, et sont essentiellement situés en Ile-de-France. Pas moins de * *** musées constituent le réseau des "musées de France" agréés ...

4.2 Les festivals, événements vecteurs de tourisme culturel

En ****, selon les chiffres du Ministère de la Culture on recense près de * *** festivals ayant eu lieu en ****. Ils peuvent être d'envergure très différente, mais ont le point commun d'avoir connu au moins * éditions et de proposer au moins * représentations, concerts, animations ou projections. Plus d'un ...

4.3 Les activités culturelles liées à l'art de vivre à la française : tourisme gastronomique et oenotourisme

Les savoir-faire liés aux vins des différents terroirs de l'Hexagone et à la gastronomie française constituent un facteur important de l'attractivité touristique du pays. Ils attirent des touristes étrangers amateurs de ces vecteurs de la culture française, et inscitent aussi les Français eux-mêmes à voyager dans différentes ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Réglementation

La réglementation française relative au tourisme culturel est principalement codifiée dans le Code du tourisme. Celui-ci définit les rôles et responsabilités des professionnels du secteur pour assurer la protection et la sécurité des voyageurs et garantir le bon déroulement des activités de ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Rivages du Monde
  • Hephata
  • Culturespace
  • Kleber Rosillon
  • Tempora Expo
  • Centre des Monuments Nationaux CMN
  • Alentour
  • Le Guide du Routard
  • Musée du Louvre
  • Relais & Chateau
  • Musée d'Orsay
  • Musée de la Marine
  • Musée Soulages
  • Mazedia
  • Château de Versailles
  • Arteum Services
  • Chateau de Fontainebleau

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Marché mondial du tourisme culturel
  • Evolution du nombre de nuitées
  • Entrées de visiteurs résidents et non-résidents dans les musées et sites patrimoniaux
  • Entrées de visiteurs résidents d'établissements culturels français
  • Entrées de visiteurs non-résidents d'établissements culturels français
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Latest news

château de Versailles: criticism from the Court of Auditors | Versailles criticized by the Court of Auditors - 13/11/2023
  • The Château de Versailles is a public institution with over 1,000 employees. The château has some 160 housing units reserved for employees. More than 66,000 works (out of a total of 88,000) are stored in "scattered" reserves, according to the Cour des Comptes.
  • The public establishment of the Château de Versailles has received 120 million euros in exceptional aid, in addition to annual subsidies of 43 million euros following the health crisis.
400 years of Versailles: the Sun King's palace: Versailles in 5 figures - 15/09/2023
  • The Château de Versailles measures 63,154 square meters, with 2,300 rooms, 1,944 windows and 352 fireplaces.
  • The Château de Versailles estate covers 800 hectares.
  • The Château de Versailles houses over 70,000 works of art.
  • The château welcomed around 6.9 million visitors in 2022.
  • The revenue generated by the château's ticket sales in 2022 was 53.5 million euros.
  • The château's own resources amounted to 87 million euros in 2022, including 14.5 million euros from patronage, donations and bequests.
  • In addition to these revenues, the château received 102 million euros in public funding in 2022.
  • Total expenditure at the Château de Versailles for 2022 was 149 million euros, including 61 million for personnel, 43.5 million for operating costs, 37 million for heritage conservation and 6.5 million for enrichment and restoration of the collections.
The Musée d'Orsay reinvents itself. - 18/06/2023
  • Current visitors to Orsay: 3.2 million
  • Work budget for renovating and improving the museum: 25 million euros.
  • Percentage of French visitors before the pandemic: 48%
  • Total cost of ten-year plan (including maintenance work, acquisitions of works, digital transformation, redevelopment of the Orangerie): 150 million euros
Diving into the heart of the oceans: Musée de la Marine - 18/06/2023
  • 80 million of work financed by the Ministry of the Armed Forces to reopen the naval museum in October
  • Work to begin in 2019 after two years to empty the collection of 60,000 items retracing 300 years of history
  • Scenic design by London-based Casson Mann, responsible for the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux
  • The architects restored the 1937 volumes, and planned a 200-seat auditorium, an 80-seat restaurant and a boutique managed by Arteum
  • The aim is for visitors to emerge "proud of the French Navy and its naval history", with France among the world's top 5 maritime powers
Routard, quinqua in top form after the Covid parenthesis - 29/05/2023
  • Travel reduced to a minimum during the pandemic crisis.
  • Le Routard is the best-selling travel guide in France.
  • 55 million copies sold since its launch in 1973.
The huge success of the Routard guide - 19/04/2023
  • Sales of 26 million euros forecast for 2023
  • 50 years of the Guide du Routard 55 million copies sold since its creation
  • Between 2 and 2.5 million books sold each year
  • 30% market share for the Routard in France
  • More than 50 authors (22 permanent authors and some 30 freelancers)
  • Around 3 million euros in annual royalties
  • More than 150 editions of the Guide du Routard
  • Routard website: 50% owned by Hachette and 50% by Routard

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Rivages du Monde
Kleber Rosillon
Tempora Expo
Centre des Monuments Nationaux CMN
Le Guide du Routard
Musée du Louvre
Relais & Chateau
Musée d'Orsay
Musée de la Marine

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