Every week you will find here 3 fresh news concerning the business tourism in France!

Do not esitate to contact Atout France for more information or for assistance to the organisation of your business event in France!

Atout France, in partnership with The MICE Blog, has launched a new social media campaign promoting France as the perfect destination for incentive travel and international meetings and events. The campaign aims to highlight the expertise of Atout France and its partners in assisting event planners to access the variety of destinations and activities France has to offer international event planners.

The new campaign, entitled #BizInFrance, will run in the months running up to IMEX Frankfurt 2017 in May and will also incorporate the latest news from French destination partners via @CLUSTER_MICE Twitter account and Atout France – The France Tourism Development Agency LinkedIn page.

More information here.

Marseille - 2017 European Capital of Sport

Marseille, the oldest city in France will for the first time in its history host the Medi Games in 2017. The diversity of venues is demonstrated in the 26 different sports that are part of the games from regattas to mountain biking. Marseille has also been selected as host to the sailing events if Paris is selected as the Olympic 2024 destination, with over 100 sailing events a year this is the ideal location.

By the end of 2017 it will be home to over 8,500 hotel rooms which will further support the event industry. Marseille is able to offer both land and offshore event venues.

The InterContinental Marseille is a XVIIIth century classified monument in the heart of Marseille. The 5 star hotel overlooks the old port and features a 750m2 panoramic terrace. The 10 meeting rooms all have natural daylight and the largest room holds up to 440 people for a drinks reception. Accommodation consists of 194 rooms including 15 suites.

InterContinental Marseille is conveniently located just 25 minutes from Marseille Provence International Airport and only 10 minutes from the train station, ensuring easy access for attendees.

Marseille can offer incentives including sea, sporting, gastronomic and team building activities.

Marseille Convention Bureau

La Maison des Calvados Boulard for a more fruitful event

Looking for a unique venue associated with an internationally renowned luxury brand? La Maison des Calvados Boulard, situated in Pays d'Auge in Normandy, just 2 hours from Paris offers rendez-vous with a difference. The distillery and store house of the famous apple brandy offers a one stop location for the perfect event. Between February to October private hire of the house is available for a minimum of 40 guests. From drinks receptions to meetings to fashion shows or dinners the space can be used for a variety of events for up to 5 hours. Immersed in the heritage of the Elixir guests will discover the distilling process that has been passed along 5 generations since 1825. Guests can also experience a range of incentives including guided tours, cocktails master classes and food pairings.

La Maison des Calvados Boulard

Angers - sustainable destination for corporate events

Conveniently located 90 minutes from Paris, by high speed train, Angers is the 5th largest industrial region of France.

Hosting more than 3000 corporate events a year for between 10 and 3600 people, the event industry in Angers has a wealth of experience to offer event planners.

The destination is equipped for most styles of events with 5 convention and exhibition centres, 62 meeting rooms and 2800 hotel rooms.

Angers is positioned as an eco-responsible city and offers eco label accommodation and eco responsible services for eco events. Professionals, local community and visitors are all encouraged to contribute to the sustainable approach.

One hour from Angers, in the Loire Valley is a magical and serene venue for event planners who want to take their attendees away from it all. The Abbey of Fontevraud is a one thousand year old former priory, located in the Pays de la Loire region just 2 hours from Paris by high speed train.

L’Hôtel, with 54 bedrooms, including suites, is situated inside the abbey and has meeting space for up to 800 people. The venue offers a combination of scenic green spaces, historic architecture and modern design. With a selection of buildings available including; cloisters, churches, chapels and landscapes, various group sizes can be catered for.

The flexibility of space lends itself to a range of events from cocktail parties on the lawn to private dining in the lower dormitory.

The peaceful monastic environment of the abbey is ideal for promoting concentration amongst attendees at business events.

Fontevraud Royal Abbey prides itself on its digital forward approach and offers the use of the latest technology throughout the venue. Fibre-optic, giant screens, acoustic panelling, highly adaptable lighting and temperature control ensure the historic building can offer a completely modern meeting experience.


Montpellier - a centre of innovation close to the Mediterranean sea

In the heart of France’s largest vineyard and 1h 10m from Paris by air, Montpellier has numerous venues dedicated to business tourism.

Host to 500 events a year, Montpellier welcomes 1.5 million attendees annually. Event planners can choose from 194 venues and 6501 hotel rooms that the destination has available.

Montpellier has an historic centre with medieval streets and courtyards, combined with modern infrastructure, which includes a sustainable and high performance transport network. The recently renovated train station lies in the heart of the city.

Acknowledged as one of the top 10 cities in the tech sector, Montpellier is a centre of excellence and innovation. The Business and Innovation Centre is a driving force for entrepreneurship and Montpellier is the 4th best incubator in the world for business start-ups. Medicine and healthcare research within the city promotes strong links within these industries.

Being only 11km from the Mediterranean sea means that visitors to Montpellier are able to soak up the Mediterranean way of life as well as the scenic natural surroundings. Incentives and activities available include walking tours, wine tasting and visiting the workshops of the stringed instrument makers.

Le Corum Palais des Congrès - Opéra Berlioz is situated in the pedestrianised area in the centre of Montpellier offering 25 seminar rooms, 3 auditoriums and 6000m2 of naturally lit exhibition space. The congress centre is just 10 minutes’ walk from the train station and has 500 on-site parking spaces. The venue is linked directly to the 146 room, 4 star Crowne Plaza Hotel.


Nantes Saint-Nazaire - the loopiest city in France

Defined by a culture of creativity Nantes Saint-Nazaire has earned itself the name of loopiest city in France from The Sunday Times. Event planners looking for quirky and alternative venues will find that Nantes Saint-Nazaire is the perfect destination.

Machines of the Isle of Nantes - is an art project located in the halls of a former ship yard. The feature is a world famous, 12 metre-tall statue of an elephant sculpted from wood and steel demonstrates this culture of creativity won the Thea Award 2014 for the world's most original attraction. Various spaces from warehouses to galleries are available to hire and offer the chance to immerse up to 3,000 attendees in the creativity. Green capital of Europe, Nantes Saint-Nazaire was the first destination in Europe to offer eco certified hotels. Now 22% of the hotels are eco certified. Exponantes is the 1st exhibition centre in Europe to obtain ISO 14001 certification.

Nantes Saint-Nazaire offers 11,460 hotel rooms with luxury accommodation, historical locations and sea front views to choose from. In line with city’s eco friendly agenda 50% of the rooms are accessible by foot or public transport.

Nantes Saint-Nazaire boasts the largest airport in Western France and is just 1 hour from Paris. The airport shuttle runs 7 days a week creating easy access to the centre within 20 minutes. The journey by train from Paris is just 2 hours.

Other iconic venues in Nantes Saint-Nazaire include Escal'Atlantic, a restored 1930’s style ocean liner and The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany.

Nantes Convention Bureau

Amiens, Northern France - city of art and history

Situated on the Somme River, in the heart of the Picardy region lies Amiens just 1 hour from Paris, 2 hours from Brussels and 3 hours from London. The MégaCité Exhibition and Congress Centre with its modern architecture and hi tech facilities offer the ideal venue for event planners. MégaCité Amiens offers 35,000 m² of space in the form of exhibition halls, auditoriums and meeting rooms making it suitable for hosting fairs, congresses, seminars, plenary meetings or workshops, exhibitions, cocktails and more. The largest of the meeting spaces, the Auditorium Jules Verne, has a maximum capacity of 985 seats theatre style.

Hotel Bouctot-Vagniez in the centre of Amiens is an architectural gem and offers luxurious Art Nouveau architecture that will impress any guest. Food offerings for delegates can be shaped around 3 restaurants, 1 gala dinner room which seats 700 guests, a contemporary space that seats 350 for dinner or a seminar lunch room which seats 50 for dinner.

There are a wealth of leisure activities for visitors to Amiens including Underground City of Naours, the hortillonnages of Amiens, 300 hectares of floating gardens, Christmas markets in the winter and light displays in the summer as well as the opportunity to learn about the history of the Battle of the Somme.

Leading industry sectors in Amiens include E health, digital and energy autonomy making it an ideal destination for companies looking to hold events around any of these themes.


Lyon - from film to football

Home to Lumière brothers Lyon is famously recognised as the birthplace of cinema. A World UNESCO Heritage site, Lyon has been featured in a variety of films and continues to be a popular choice. FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 will arrive in France June 8 - July 7, 2019 and Lyon will be one of the host destinations.

A recent addition to the Lyon hotel scene is Radisson Blu which reopened in 2016 after a 40 million investment. The opening of the 5 star InterContinental Grand Hôtel-Dieu in 2018 will further cement Lyon as a destination for business tourism. The luxury hotel will blend heritage and contemporary to offer 143 rooms, including 24 junior suites, a presidential suite, 188 deluxe and superior rooms. A 2,500 m² conference centre will be attached to the hotel including nine meeting rooms.

Lyon Tourism and Convention

Tours Val de Loire - in the heart of castles and vineyards

From small individual meetings, to conferences there is a venue to suit every event in Tours Val de Loire. Tours sits in the central region of France and offers 4,600 hotel rooms. Just 1 hour from Paris, Tours attracts 1.4m visitors a year and is the gateway to the historic Châteaux and vineyards of the Loire. This world heritage site is also home to innovation and talent, as an incubator district for tech start-ups.

The Exhibition Centre of Tours is a key meeting venue and includes 3 halls(10,000 m², 9,164 m² and 3,600 m²); modular meeting rooms of 600 m² and a semi-covered village of 12,000 m².

Vinci International Convention Centre is a high tech exhibition venue in the centre of Tours, offering 3 auditoriums with a capacity of 2,000, 700 and 350 places, 22 break out rooms and 4500 m² of exhibition and catering area is spread across 5 floors, all connected with escalators and lifts.

Incentive activities in Tours Val de Loire include: cooking classes at Château Gaudrelle or with Terre Exotique, exploring the Loire by bike, discover the Val de Loire from a helicopter or a hot air balloon or take a Sageway ride.

Win 10 000 € for your event in Tours Val de Loire

Tours Val de Loire Convention Bureau has organised a lucky draw contest where you can win 10,000 € for your event in Tours Val de Loire. The competition is open to all event planners and organisers based in France or abroad who organises events, including congresses, seminars, incentives and workshops.

How to participate?

  • Please send your request for proposal at
  • We will send you a confirmation of your participation if all the above conditions are met.
  • Once you receive a confirmation from us, your RFP will be selected for the lucky draw.
  • Find more information here

Tours Val-de-Loire

Valenciennes - an open air museum

Just 30 minutes from Lille airport, and 1h50 by rail from Paris, Valenciennes is a cultural city with a strategy for innovation. The many statues across the city make it an open air museum but the city's history sits alongside modern industries including digital technologies, design, logistics, renewable energy, the agri-food industry and overland transportation. The growth of these industries in Valenciennes makes it an attractive destination for business tourism.

Cité des Congrès Valenciennes Convention Centre, which overlooks the Scheldt river, offers 1,850 m² modular exhibition space, split into 3,380 m², 520 m² and 950 m², the NEF with seated capacity for up to 4,800 people, 14 conference rooms with a capacity of up to 150 people, three auditoriums with a capacity of up to 800 people, dining for up to 1,400 people and cocktail reception capacity up to 2,100.

Hôpital Général de la Charité, built in 1767 is currently undergoing a large restoration and will open in October 2017 as Martin’s Hotel du Hainaut, the first Martin’s hotel in France. The 49 rooms hotel will also add 10 meeting and banqueting rooms to the meeting space options in Valenciennes.

Other venues include Palais des Beaux Arts, Hainaut Stadium and Phénix theatre.

Incentive activities include: cultural treasure hunts, karting, rock climbing, bowling, ice-skating, golf, and indoor football, watching sporting events and Culinary Tour.

Valenciennes Tourism and Congress

Nancy - the birth place of Art Nouveau

Nancy is just 1 hour 30 minutes from both Paris and Luxembourg and is easily accessible from many European cities. Home to 6 museums, 3 UNESCO sites and 2 gardens, Nancy is a destination of art and culture.

Nancy is a centre for the science and technology industries. The Université de Lorraine represents all major French research and higher education institutes. Emerging industries include health and life sciences, computing/digital creative, eco construction, banking and finance. Pôle métropolitain du Sillon Lorrain has collaborated with Luxemburg and Sarre to launch LORnTECH - a programme to develop future digital leaders and start-ups.

Event planners have a selection of high profile event spaces to choose from in this destination including: Opera House, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Grand Salon at City Hall (Stanislas Palace), and the Poirel event space and gallery.

The Prouvé Congress Center, located 1 minute from the TGV station has a total space of 4900 m2 with two auditoriums (850 and 300) and 2,400 m2 of hall space with the capacity to accommodate up to 2,400 participants.

Nancy has nearly 20 event venues across the city from brand name hotels and exhibition centres to brasseries and cinemas available for private hire.

Guests can be accommodated in the 2,700 rooms in the city, 1200 of which are within 5 minutes’ walk of The Prouvé Congress Center. The Hotel Chart is an agreement between Nancy Tourism and Events and Nancy Hotel Club to offer the best deals, create custom allocations for your event and offers guest amenities like a 24-hour left luggage service, free Wi-Fi, and a welcome gift in every room.

Nancy boasts an impressive list of high quality restaurants that can cater for business groups with specially designed fixed price menus. The destination can offer business travellers a range of incentive activities like wine tasting, kayaking, climbing, golf and more.

Nancy Convention Bureau

Metz - Capital of Lorraine

Being situated in the North East of France, on the crossroads between France, Belgium, Germany and just 82 minutes from Paris by train, Metz is an ideal location for events. Metz offers a range of venues including conference centres, heritage venues and other less conventional venues. The city welcomes over 200 business events a year. Having been awarded both ISO 9001/V 2000 and Qualicongrès certification, Metz is high on the list of national convention cities.

The Centre Pompidou-Metz is key feature in the Metz business tourism offer. This architecturally impressive venue offers 10,700m2 of flexible private spaces and attracted 800,000 visitors during the first year of opening,

Due to open in September 2018, the Robert Schuman Convention Centre will face the Centre Pompidou-Metz and offer 15,300 m² of space including a 1,200 seat auditorium, 16 meetings rooms with up to 400 seats and a 4,300m2 exhibition space for approximately 200 stands. This new centre was designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and will offer a connection between the amphi theatre district and the centre of the city. The Philippe Starck Hotel is a new 4* hotel designed by prominent French architect Philippe Starck. This surrealist design hotel which features a mansion on top of a tower will open in 2018. The 12 floor hotel will boast panoramic views over the city and will offer 110 rooms and suites, two restaurants and spa.

With a variety of golf courses, a casino, a bath house and an indoor ski slope Metz offers a variety of leisure activities for business travellers. Alternative event venues available in Metz include a former bus station, a former church, an opera house and a museum.

Metz Congress

Dunkirk - industrial city and port in the North of France

Dunkirk is a seaside resort town in the North of and home to France’s 3rd commercial port. Located just 20 minutes from the channel tunnel, it is accessible from many major North European destinations. Dunkirk attracts business from industries such as food, energy, logistics, packaging, metal chemistry, pharmacy and more.

Its Congress Centre, Le Kursaal offers views over the North Sea and has a flexible 15,000 m² event space. The auditorium, which was previously a cinema, has capacity for 500 delegates. The centre has several other areas, the largest of which holds 2,000 people for dinner or 4,000 people for a drinks reception.

A 17km sandy beach on the edge of the ocean makes sailing an ideal incentive activity in Dunkirk. Alternative options include golf and a 1.5 hour hike in the North Sea which health benefits can add to events that in which planners are promoting a well-being agenda for their attendees.

Between them the hotels of Dunkirk offer 1,800 bedrooms ranging across B&B’s, apartments and hotels.

Dunkirk Tourism and Congress


Jessica Boffet
Atout France Suisse
+41 (0)44 217 46 03