Minister congratulates Lyon on prestigious tourism award

Tourism – Lyon is voted “Europe’s Leading City Break Destination” – Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development


Paris, 5 September 2016

I welcome the fact that Lyon was named "Europe’s Leading City Break Destination" by the World Travel Awards’ panel of judges on 4 September.

Lyon attracts 5.5 million visitors annually, i.e. two million more than 10 years ago.

Lyon’s hotel occupancy rate increased to 65% in the first seven months of 2016.

This is the fruit of a proactive policy conducted by the city of Lyon and professionals, with state support. After the Historic Site of Lyon was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1998, the emphasis given to enhancing the visitor experience, with, among other things, high-quality local hotels and the work done to promote it as a destination, largely explain Lyon’s success today with tourists.

I want to stress in particular the importance of the contrat de destination (1) “Only Lyon”, signed in 2014 with the state to define a strategy for promoting tourism and gastronomy.

These efforts are in line with the priority areas identified at national level: the digital sector, visitor experience, training and investment. In the autumn I shall convene the second annual tourism conference to take stock of how these are being implemented./.

(1) contrats de destination are “contracts” between, for example, local authorities, tourism bodies, transport operators etc. which, thanks to financial and technical support from the state and Atout France, are designed to speed up the development of areas into tourist destinations.

Published on 16/09/2016

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