Press releases

London, UK – 9 March 2017

France Tourism Development Agency Atout France to launch its €4.6m ‘#Feel’ campaign, aimed at reigniting UK passion for France experienced through the five senses

Atout France (the France Tourism Development Agency) and its partners are launching a new pan-European marketing campaign using the creative strategy ‘#Feel’ and invoking the five senses. The campaign sees Atout France join forces with its counterparts in Germany and the Netherlands and will be launched in the UK on 13 March, following its launch to the German market at ITB Berlin on 9 March by Mr Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad. Delivered by global advertising agency Grey, it focuses on reminding travellers of why they love France and re-establishing it as the UK’s favourite holiday destination. Germany, the Netherlands and the UK are jointly responsible for nearly half of France’s international visitors.

Click here for the full press release

15/07/2016 – Nice

Press release from our partners in Nice following the attacks on 14 July 2016.

01/04/2016 – France as a modern tale

screen shot france video


Atout France is announcing the launch of its new ‘France as a modern tale’ video. The video is a new twist on the classic fairy tale Cinderella. The video embodies key French destinations and pays homage to classic French hallmarks such as style, elegance, fashion and romance. The 1m40s long video is hosted on the Atout France homepage on The video will be distributed virally.

Behind the story
The film tells the modern story of one of the most famous fairy tales Cinderella. Unbeknown to many, Cinderella is the creation of the French writer Charles Perrault. By taking a classic fairy tale and interpreting it in a contemporary way, Atout France portrays a tale that reflects modern France through creativity, historical background, elegance and style. By using a glamorous Parisian setting, using contemporary French designers and luxury standards, synonymous with France and using subtle symbols, the film sets itself apart as a unique and original destination video.

Watch the video in full:

Partners and symbolism
Throughout the story telling and Cinderella’s journey, the film incorporates key French partner destinations in a subtle and evocative way. This is achieved by carefully using renowned destination symbols and brand associations placed throughout the story.
By portraying French hallmarks and destination associations, values such as culture and history, literature, food and wine, fashion and luxury aspire to appeal to British travellers.
French destination partners involved and its associations are as follows:

Paris – Iconic luxury setting
Lyon – Festival of light
Toulouse – Known as the pink city
Bordeaux – Wine production
Alsace – Gastronomy
Provence – Flowers of Provence
Champagne – Champagne production
Alps-Mont Blanc – Mountains, snow, winter sports
French Riviera – Glamour
Biarritz – France’s leading surfing destination
Normandy – Historical France such as the D-day landing beaches
Brittany – The Breton stripes and shirts

Behind the scenes
The video is directed by Eric Beaupré – a Canadian filmmaker and graphic designer and Laure Bernard – a French photographer and director. Both reside in Paris. Eric and Laure were inspired by French luxury brands, fashion photography campaigns and their artistic vision echoing whimsical romanticism and a poetic mood.
The video was shot at famous Plaza Athénée Palace in Paris.
The video is hosted online on, Atout France’s YouTube channel and will be boosted via Atout France’s social media channels and sponsored posts.

‘What’s your Tour de France?’ Campaign
The film comes on the back of the launch of the 2016 edition of the ‘What’s your Tour de France?’ campaign. Now in its third year the aim of the campaign is to increase awareness and strengthen the image of France in the UK, through placed creative elements such as print advertising and London tube and escalator panels. Three radio spots were played on four radio stations across the South West of England between 14 – 27 March 2016.
Furthermore the objective is to drive traffic on to the website. As per previous years the regular website has been completely dedicated to the campaign and this year the site has received a re-design, this now stands out with a strong visual look and humorous and enticing category labels. Emphasis has been placed on engaging and carefully chosen images, which first of all aims to inspire visitors and to redirect to partner websites.
There are approx. 70 destinations involved in the campaign and four main carriers: Brittany Ferries, PO Ferries, DFDS Seaways, and Voyages New partners for 2016 are Disneyland Paris, Novasol and Eurolines

For further information please contact Anne Pedersen, Head of Public Relations Department, Atout France Tel. 020 7061 6624,

Atout France Destination video Press release

Note to Editors
– Full length video: 1m40s. A shorter 30 second version will be used as a teaser and distributed online
– Full biographies on video directors are available upon request
– The ‘What’s your tour de France?’ campaign launched on 14 March and will run until the end of June.

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10/03/2016 – NAUSICAA is turning 25

Atout France is pleased to announce that we will be working with NAUSICAA throughout the year. The most popular tourist attraction in the Northern France is celebrating its 25th birthday and marking this milestone with a whole raft of special events.

25th Anniversary

This year, NAUSICAA celebrates 25 years since it opened on 18 May 1991. This unique marine discovery centre is more than just an aquarium and focuses on educational and scientific programmes as well as entertaining visitors with its incredible array of fish and animals. With renowned exhibitions including enormous aquariums and high-tech devices, NAUSICAA provides an exceptional experience for visitors of all ages.

 Typically Tropical – New in 2016

NAUSICAA never ceases to surprise and this year it’s going tropical. Alongside coral reefs, tropical forests are symbols of earth’s incredible biodiversity and create a home for more than half the world’s animal and plant species. Tropical frogs, lizards, snakes and chameleons will find a new home in France in a tropical forest corridor which will open out onto a sensational space, a submerged forest filled with caimans and freshwater fish.

Finding Dory

Who can forget Finding Nemo, the cute Disney film that turned clownfish into stars. Disney is to release a follow up in July 2016 – Finding Dory, a chatty blue surgeon fish. At NAUSICAA, there’s no need for cartoons as the real thing, sure to thrill families, can be seen in the tropical lagoon.

New Animals and Major Exhibitions for 2016

NAUSICAA will introduce yet more animals this year including seahorses, pipe fish and a giant Pacific octopus. The 25th Festival of Sea Imagery will take place 24th-28th March and on Saturday 26th March.

A special Easter hunt will take place at Audresselles beach close to NAUSICAA; participants will be able to admire the egg cases in which the young of many skates and rays and some sharks are laid.

World Ocean Day will be celebrated on 8th June, and the “Blue Planet” Literary Award will be presented on 29th July. The popular temporary exhibition “Ocean & Climate: Getting hot in here!” has been created in partnership with Meteo-France and the National Museum of Natural History; this year it will focus on the importance of the oceans in climate regulation.

Note to Editors

Finding Dory will be released in the UK on 29th July 2016. Pre-coverage press trips are available for visits to NAUSICAA to see the real thing.  More details to be made available soon.


04/03/2016 – French Travel Media Awards


French Travel Media Awards 2016 follow hot on the heels of the Oscars

From trekking round Mont Blanc to camping in Provence, Nice on a shoestring to the culinary delights of Auvergne, the regions and lifestyle of France were celebrated by an inspirational variety of entries to this year’s French Travel Media Awards.

The winners were announced last night, March 1, at a celebratory evening in the stylish surroundings of Searcy’s country-style townhouse at 30 Pavilion Road in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge.  And the judges?  The people who matter most – the readers.

A shortlist of four articles per category was selected from amongst a record number of entries and then posted on the Facebook page.   The site’s 90,000 UK fans were then invited to read the articles and vote for their favourites, with the chance to win a bottle of champagne for their efforts.

Sponsored by Voyages SNCF and compered by stand-up comedian and passionate Francophile Ian Moore, the evening was attended by more than 70 print and online journalists, as well as by representatives from French partners – Aix en Provence and Marseille, Antibes, Auvergne, France Montagne, Lille, Loire, Midi-Pyrénées, Normandy, Northern France, Toulouse, and Vendée.

And the winners were …


Chris Bertram for ‘Focus on France’ in Golf World

(Nominees: Andy Goodall, Dorset Echo; Minty Clinch, The Mail on Sunday)


Emma Forrest for ‘Not just for the rich and famous’ (French Riviera) in Family Traveller magazine

(Nominees: Carolyn Boyd, France Magazine; Fiona Whitby, Sunday Mirror; Liz Edwards, Sunday Times Travel Magazine)


Lindsay Sutton for ‘Remembering the spirit of Dunkirk’ published across 7 different regional titles including the Liverpool Echo

(Nominees: Andy Sibcy, Jersey Evening Post; Tim Davey, Bristol Post)


Paul Dring for ‘Queen of the South’ in Jamie magazine

(Nominees: Chris Zacharia, Flux magazine; Judy Armstrong, France magazine; Michael Raffael, Food & Travel magazine)


Audrey Gillan for ‘On a shoestring Nice’ in Olive magazine

(Nominees: Emma Thompson, National Geographic Traveller; Sarah Siese, The Mayfair Magazine; Tom Chesshyre, The Times)


Rosana McPhee for ‘Aquitaine region, Bordeaux and St Emilion’ in Hot & Chilli

(Nominees: Emily Mawson,; Julie Falconer, A Lady in London; Michael Cowton,


Karyn Noble for ‘A Weekend in Hyères’ at Lonely Planet online

(Nominees: Andrew Gilchrist, The Guardian; Carolyn Boyd, The Times; James Stewart (The Sunday Times, Travel).

 The awards ceremony ended with a Special Recognition Award to France Magazine for its coverage and support of Paris following the November terrorist attacks.   Editor Carolyn Boyd accepted the award on behalf of all the former editors, regular contributors and readers who made the tribute so special.


03/03/2016 – Latest news from France


Positive tourism figures, increased investment and a whole host of special events, commemorations, new attractions and transport links sets the tone for an exciting 2016 in France.

Tourism Facts and Figures

Rise in UK visitor spend

The latest provisional 2015 figures from the ONS suggest that the first 9 months of the year saw a steady flow of British visitors heading to France, and an increase of more than 5% in visitor spend year-on-year. Feedback from local partners over the summer season also suggests that British visitors are coming back.   Further official figures will follow soon.

Increased investment in tourism

At the first annual tourism convention held in Paris in October, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development expanded on measures which are being taken by the Government to improve their offer to tourists, including areas such as welcome, electronic communications and social media, booking systems, and professional training.

Countdown begins to Somme 2016

The Battle of the Somme was the first major Allied offensive of World War I, the infantry attack launching on 1 July 1916 after a week of artillery bombardment designed to annihilate German positions.  But the bombardment had failed and the battle became one of the worst of the whole war.  On the first day alone, the British Army lost 60,000 men, of whom 20,000 were killed. The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1932, is one of the main focal points for remembrance in the Somme. Every year on the 1st July, a commemorative service is held here in remembrance of the men who fought and died during the Battle of the Somme, but in 2016 the British and French Governments will host a significantly larger event. .

Official centenary commemorations will start on July 1st 2016, not just at Thiepval, but at locations such as Lochnagar and Beaumont-Hamel, with an evening concert by Barbara Hendricks in Albert.  Events will continue throughout the summer to remember the fallen from all nations, including South Africa and Australia, with a rich cultural, scientific and artistic programme continuing in Amiens, the closest city to the Somme Front.  Two websites, and will provide all the information needed for visiting the Somme Battlefields in 2016.

Euro 2016

A record 24 sides will contest the 15th UEFA European Championship in France next year with more than 50 games taking place over 32 days in 10 host cities.  The action for Euro 2016 kicks off on June 10 and finishes on July 10 in Paris.   From northern France to the Rhône Valley, the Atlantic Coast to the Riviera, host cities will be providing an extra special welcome to fans who can not only enjoy top class football but also the hospitality and atmosphere of some iconic sporting towns. Host cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Toulouse, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne.

Lascaux IV

Located in the Vézère Valley, Lascaux IV will open in the summer of 2016, an extraordinary replica of almost the entire original cave copied using state-of-the-art techniques and guaranteed to give visitors a real sense of life here in prehistoric times.  Experience a steppe landscape dominated by animals, then fast forward to 1940 and the discovery by four young boys of the cave entrance.  Visitors will enter the dark, damp replica cave in small groups for the most authentic experience possible, then discover the full story of cave life and rock art through exhibitions and interactive displays.

Bordeaux Wine Museum

It promises to be an exciting year for Bordeaux which unveils the city’s emblematic new building in 2016.  On the banks of the Garonne in an up-and-coming dockland area, a vast glass tower in imaginative modern design will dominate the skyline. A wine museum to celebrate and showcase the region’s flagship product, the Cité des Civilisations du Vin is a ‘lighthouse’ that shines with the expertise of thousands of years of winemaking.  Visitors can discover the relationship between wine and culture across the world from ancient times to the present day and enjoy a panoramic view over city and vineyards from the observation deck 35 metres high and the 7th floor restaurant. Opening early June 2016

Porquerolles hosts contemporary art in island setting

Contemporary art in an idyllic natural setting, that’s the aim behind the Carmignac Foundation’s forthcoming expansion to the unspoilt island of Porquerolles in the  heart of the Port-Cros National Park Reserve.  Located off the coast of the French Riviera near Hyères, the car-free island measure just 7.5 x 3km and boasts turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and woodland paths.   Starting in 2016, it will act as a focal point for the various movements in contemporary art both in France and abroad, and will become increasingly vibrant as paintings and sculptures are gradually created in harmony with their unique surroundings.

 Inauguration of the European equestrian route ‘d’Artagnan’ in 2016

The European equestrian route ‘D’Artagnan’ will be inaugurated in at the end of 2016. It will set of the Lupiac (Gers) – birthplace of the famous Musketeer and lead to Maastricht in the Netherlands, where he lost his life in 1673, via Belgium. Riders will be given a roadmap and at each leg it will be validated in order for them to achieve the “D’Artagnan” gold, silver or bronze medal (depending on the mileage).

The equestrian statue of D’Artagnan *, inaugurated August 9, 2015 in Lupiac marks the start or finish of the equestrian route. * This bronze statue is the work of sculptor Daphne du Barry. More informations (link in French only):

Normandy Impressionism Festival

Normandy’s third Impressionist festival kicks off on 16 April 2016 with a whole host of exhibitions and events throughout Upper and Lower Normandy, drawing to a close on 26 September.  Theme for this year’s much-anticipated festival is Impressionist Portraits, and masterpieces have been lent from around the world for landmark exhibitions.  Contemporary French and foreign artists have also been invited to produce new works on Impressionist themes.  Expect musical, theatrical and literary events as well as artworks as you discover another face of Impressionism.

 Normandy – The Grand Départ

The Tour de France has already visited la Manche 23 times, but in 2016 the department will be hosting the Grand Départ for the very first time. Six cities in la Manche have welcomed the Tour, but the Grande Boucle’s oldest ties are with Cherbourg, that the peloton has visited by seventeen times. The first time, in 1911, future winner Gustave Garrigou took home a Norman bouquet. The Grande Boucle has often shied away from the tip of the Cotentin peninsula, but two stages have finished in Avranches and the last one, in 2002, was one to remember: Australian Bradley McGee promised to win the stage before the start and was as good as his word. The Tour’s recent visits to la Manche have been marked by the two finishes at the foot of the Mont-Saint-Michel. Belgian Johan Museeuw was the first to triumph at the “Wonder of the Western World” back in 1990. Twenty-three years later, German Tony Martin claimed a time trial during the 100th edition of the Tour.

Battle of Hastings

2016 is the 950 anniversary of the Norman invasion and the subsequent battle. A possible programme of events is currently in development in Normandy

 Hotels Reopening

The famous Hotel Ritz and Hotel Crillon are still undergoing complete renovations. Hotel Ritz is currently set to re-open in June and Hotel Crillon at the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017.

 Tonnerres de Brest – new look maritime festival

Enjoy all things nautical in the Breton port of Brest from 13 to 19 July.  Every four years since 1992, a major maritime festival has taken place here, culminating in a huge 20th anniversary spectacular in 2012.  Now 2016 marks the start of a new phase of festivities. Star turn will be the Hermione, replica of La Fayette’s frigate, but historic ships and pleasure craft from every ocean will be gathering here to enjoy maritime parades, firework displays, concerts and other quayside events.


New  and recent new flight connections UK & IRL

Cityjet:                                  Cork – La Rochelle (Summer 2016)

                                              Cork – Nantes (Summer 2016)

Aer Lingus:                           Dublin – Perpignan: Extension seasonal flights April – October 2016

                                              Dublin – Montpellier (Summer 2016)

SWISS:                                  Dublin – Genève (Summer 2015)

Eastern Airways:                  Southampton – Lorient (10 July – 17 August)

Bmi regional:                        Bristol – Nantes

Monarch:                              Manchester – Genève (December 2015)

Flybe:                                    Norwich – Genève (Winter 2016)

Jet2:                                      Manchester – Genève (Winter 2015)

Easyjet:                                 London Southend – Lyon (12 December 2015)

                                              Manchester – Marseille (June 2015)

Flybe :                                   Cardiff – Chambéry (25 October 2015 – 29 February 2016)


16/12/2015 – Paris new campaign


Atout France launches new campaign to boost Paris as tourist gateway to France.
Atout France and its partners launched a major new internet and social media campaign on December 15. The main aim is to bolster the appeal of Paris after last month’s terrorist attacks.The events that shook Paris and Ile-de-France region on November 13 have touched not only France and its people, but also people across the world. Tourism has also been affected and this new campaign is designed to reassure visitors and bolster the appeal of Paris to Parisians themselves as well as to the rest of France and international tourists.

Key to the campaign is the hashtag #ParisWeLoveYou with a simple message, ‘PARIS WILL ALWAYS BE PARIS’. A dedicated website – – will invite people to share photos that illustrate their own feelings for Paris and, thanks to social networking, thus create a collective momentum to promote the city. Many of these photos will then be used to cover a giant object in a symbolic corner of Paris.
Atout France will be a powerful player in the campaign, promoting it on their internet sites as well as on social networks in France and across the world. In the words of Christian Mantei, Director-General of Atout France: ‘We are delighted to lend our support by offering the powerful international reach of our social networking activities. It’s also a wonderful way to thank all those people across the world who have been sending messages of solidarity to us over the last month.’
France hopes to attract 100 million tourists by 2020 and this campaign will remind travellers that Paris is still a city that is proud to welcome visitors from all over the world.



For further information please contact

Anne Pedersen, Head of Public Relations Department,

Atout France

Tel. 020 7061 6624,

14/07/2015: Cultural projects in the newsCulture cluster press release - July 2015_Page_1Culture cluster press release - July 2015_Page_2

09/07/2015: Tournus wins coveted EDEN Laureate 2015

Click here to read this press release in your browser.



17/04/2015: Michelin star Chef Gordon Ramsay at Grand hotel de Bordeaux & Spa

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Press Release Gordon Ramsay at Grand Hotel de Bordeaux_Page_2

20/03/2015: France Tourism Development Agency Atout France continues Biggest Ever UK Advertising Campaign

Click here to read this press release in your browser.















16/02/2015: The Goût de Good France

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On 19 March 2015, in 150 countries around the world, restaurants will offer 1,500 dinners to celebrate France’s gastronomy by inviting the public to share a “French dinner”. In each participating restaurant, the event will render homage to a vibrant, open and innovative French cuisine. The Goût de France initiative is being organised by Alain Ducasse and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Click here to see the press kit.


10/02/2015: GENERATOR brings new breed of “Haute” Hostel to Paris in 2015

Generator Paris opening release - 30 January 2015_Page_1-bisGenerator Paris opening release - 30 January 2015_Page_2-bis

27/01/2015: The Goût de Good France

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