Tourism recovery scheme disclosed by Edouard Philippe

Published by Julie M., Elodie D., Manon C. · Photos by Elodie D. · Published on 14 May 2020 at 12h30 · Updated on 14 May 2020 at 14h45
The government is working on a Marshall plan, an aid and recovery scheme to support the tourism sector, hit by coronavirus and confinement. It has been disclosed this Thursday May 14th.

Edouard Philippe announces that “the entire government is working on developing tourism in France” because the country welcomes 90 million international travelers every year. He adds that “tourism is probably facing the worst challenge in its modern history (…) rescuing it is a national priority”.

The prime minister also says that “we want to avoid a second wave that would ruin all efforts made by the French for these two months of containment”. He also says we will know when the tourism sector will reopen by May 25, adding that cafés and restaurants may reopen from June 2nd in departments in green and staying so, upholding health protocols.

The prime minister announces the Marshall plan is an exceptional support scheme revolving around 2 principles:

  • Allowing the sector to hold on, limiting bankruptcies
  • Drawing perspectives

He also says this time takes place in 3 steps:

  • Very-short emergency term
  • Deconfinement time
  • Long term: recovering France’s spot in the world’s tourism

Edouard Philippe says the solidarity funds set by the government is open until late 2020 and open to companies employing up to 20 people. The aid granted by this funds could go up to 10,000 euros.

The Prime Minister also announces a new loan scheme: the loan warranted by the state Saison. While classic loans include 25% of the turnover made the previous year, the Saison loan, devoted to the tourism players only, take the best three months of the previous year into account.
Moreover, Deposits Fund deputy manager Olivier Sichel announced a scheme to support the tourism sector as it has been severely hit by the coronavirus health crisis is being considered.

This exceptional aid scheme goes from €250 million to one billion euros. Interviewed by France Info, he revealed the guidelines of this scheme: “This is an equity scheme [of €1.3 billion] that will be validated and decided by the Interministerial Committee on Tourism this week, presided by the Prime Minister. And this is what we call equity, this is not a loan because at some point, a loan as to be paid back. It truly is investment”.

This money is said to come from BPI France, financed by French’s savings accounts. Olivier Sichel says “the State will become co-investor” to reinforce companies’ statement of accounts. This scheme is left to be defined but is expected to help tourism companies that have been on hold since March 16th. It would apply to places from theme parks to “the association that goes tree climbing” to the “kayak manager”. For instance, the Futuroscope would enjoy a €10-million investment to develop the creation of Futuroscope 2.

For the record, tourism represented 9% of France’s GDP in 2019 for 22 billion takings and 4 million jobs (direct or indirect). As of April 22nd, Ile-de-France tourism lost over a billion euros in a month and statements are not going towards a return to normal before summer.

On the world’s scale, the number of international tourists could diminish by 60 to 80% in 2020 and lead to 100 to 120 million direct jobs lost in the tourism sector, according to the World Tourism Organization.

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