Tourism Investments


MCARTHURGLEN - Retail Tourism - Great Britain

An Ideal Blend of the Modern and the Traditional, Provence is a Hotbed for Tourism

More than just home to a blossoming international metropolis, Provence is a name that evokes art, beauty, and a glorious lifestyle. It’s also a brand that resonates nationally and internationally and is home to variety of breathtaking destinations that attract investors from all spectrums of the tourism industry.
Not only is Provence dotted with dozens of romantic Provençal villages with their own cultures and culinary specialties, the area is also home to world-famous cities such as Aix-en-Provence, renowned for its art and fountains, Marseille, a cosmopolitan city enriched by 2600 years of history, and Arles, a city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site that is also the gateway to the unique Camargues wetlands area.

In 2016, eight million tourists, including 1.5 million cruise ship passengers, came to Provence and enjoyed the traditional sites as well as a series of world-class cultural attractions such as the MuCEM, the Château La Coste arts center, the Hôtel de Caumont, or the Grand Théatre de Provence....

Investments in the tourism sector in Aix-Marseille-Provence are mostly linked to the following domains:

  • Hotels & Accommodation;
  • Food & Restaurants;
  • Leisure & Sport;
  • Wellness;
  • Design & Fashion.

Tourism has been a long-standing sphere of excellence in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and the field of Tourism and Culture has been identified as part of the strategic sector program known as OIR (Operations of Interest for the Region). The region’s recent creation of the European Capital of Tourism label was accompanied by an initial budget of €2.5 billion that will provide an enormous boost for the development of the tourism economy.

Key Figures for the Tourism Sector in Provence

In the PACA region:

  • 141 000 jobs;
  • €18 billion in annual economic activity;
  • 13% of the regional GDP.
    (Source: CRT PACA)

In the Bouches-du-Rhône Department:

  • 8 million tourists, which is 20% of the regional total;
  • 1.7 million cruise ship passengers in 2015, a huge increase over the past 15 years (164 000 cruise passengers in 2000);
  • 13 000 tourism-related businesses, 28% of them in accommodation and 32% in restaurants;
  • 22.4% of all tourism jobs in the PACA region.
    (Source: BDR Tourisme)

Provence’s Tourism Advantage

- A “Made in Provence” Lifestyle: 50% of Provence’s geographic territory consists of protected natural spaces, such as the Calanques National Park, the largest national park in France that sits next to a major urban area.

- An exceptional seaside environment with a glorious climate: 289km of Mediterranean coastline with 300 days of sun per year.

- Officially recognized for its world-class sports landscape: Marseille was named European Capital of Sport in 2017.

- Vast public and private investment in cultural infrastructure: €660 million euros as part of the European Capital of Culture festivities in 2013 alone.

- Major projects in the sectors to attract Europeans:

  • The 26 000m² designer outlet village in Miramas featuring 120 boutiques;
  • The avant-garde Luma cultural complex in Arles designed by Franck Gehry and Annabelle Selldorf features a glass rotunda, thousands of stainless steel blocks and a six-hectare public park;
  • An aviation park overlooking the Etang de Berre inland bay which will serve as both a showcase for the aeronautics sector and center for amateur pilots and leisure aircraft;
  • The continued development of tourism connected to the Rhône River.