Tour de France in Marseille: A decisive stage for Provence Promotion

Tour de France in Marseille: A decisive stage for Provence Promotion
27 July 2017 / General, Sports

On July 22, 2017, the Tour de France time trial was held in the streets of Marseille, with riders beginning and ending their race at the Orange Vélodrome. For a few lucky foreign business leaders invited by Provence Promotion, it was an opportunity to see another side of Marseille, which had pulled out all the stops to welcome the cyclists. Representatives of local governments joined forces to roll out the red carpet for these potential investors during one of the most festive and famous sporting events in the world.

Neither rock stars nor politicians, VIPs of a different stripe attended the penultimate stage of the Tour de France in Marseille. On July 22, 2017, seven visitors enjoyed the President's Box at the Orange Vélodrome alongside Jean-Claude Gaudin, senator, mayor of Marseille and president of the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area.

As a rare treat, they observed the bike weighing right before the racers struck out on a 22.5-kilometer, pure urban course that covered the most beautiful streets of Marseille, from the Corniche to the Old Port, plus a climb up to Notre-Dame de la Garde!

Seven businessmen representing five international, American, Spanish and Japanese companies were invited by Provence Promotion to experience the excitement outside institutional frameworks. The group included start-up owners and established captains of industry in sectors ranging from hospitality to pharmaceuticals, but they all aim to move their businesses to the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area and have plans at various stages of advancement.

Mixing sports and business in a relaxed setting

"This outing was combined with a schedule of appointments defined based on their business sectors. Some visited thecamp while others met with researchers. They also attended a round table discussion with managers of companies that recently relocated to the region to get unfiltered answers to practical questions on hiring, law and tax issues. This kind of experience sharing makes our message more credible," stresses Philippe Stéfanini, Director of Provence Promotion.

The potential investors were also invited to a lecture at Palais de la Bourse on sports and regional attractiveness, where they learned the extent to which, in the space of a few years, Provence has become a destination for world-renowned events. Indeed, after the 2016 Euro Cup and the Tour de France, next year will see the return of a Formula 1 Grand Prix to the legendary Castellet course.

And in further good news, the extraordinary Marseille harbor is in the running to host the sailing events as part of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Informal discussions continued during a dinner attended by prominent athletes at the Palais du Pharo. The historically significant building serves up an unbeatable view of New Marseille, as embodied by the Mucem, studded with thousands of blue lights against a fully renovated seafront.

After their summer weekend jaunt, the businessmen hopped back on their plane with the impression of having witnessed a city transformed and memories of beautiful landscapes. The stage was an indisputable victory for Provence Promotion, whose goal is to secure investment plans in the region; additional meetings are scheduled with these decision makers in the very near future.