According to the DGE (Direction Générale des Entreprises), 5,000 companies, 95% of which are very small and small businesses, are currently opening their doors to tourism. Among those companies, 60% of visits come from the food, wine and spirits sector and 18% come from arts and crafts trades. The environment and energy (10%) come to an end with the fashion and cosmetics sector (7%) and the technology industries (5%).
I- What can I visit?
Have you heard about the Fragonard perfumery in the city of Eze on the French Riveria? This company, both a factory and a laboratory, welcomed nearly a million visitors in one year. Open all year and free, the visit of the perfume is a vector of promotion of trades and business to visitors and especially young people. Thanks to this exploitation, perfumery also becomes a powerful means of communication for the company. The opening of the buildings allows to reinforce the brand image while giving a more human side to the company. Moreover, the visits allow to involve a little more the company in its territory by becoming a tourist attraction.
This is one of many examples. The Airbus factory in Toulouse hosts 120,000 visitors a year. As big as a city, it offers 3 circuits: one in sustainable development, another dedicated to the A380 and one that proposes to cover the 700 hectares of the site.
More original, the area of the Millau Viaduct offers paid tours of the work all year round. Located near the toll of Saint-Germain in Aveyron, the Viaduct is a technological masterpiece of the Eiffage group. For example, you can observe how the translator works and discover what this giant bridge is made of.
II- Industrial Tourism, what advantages?
Industrial tourism makes it possible to diversify the tourist offer of a territory. Companies understood the stake of their businesses in terms of both leisure and business tourism. Therefore, institutional tourism organizations collaborate with companies to develop the sector (travel, communication, accommodation, e-concierge, etc.).
Thus, districts with low tourist value can now develop their industrial heritage (such as Seine St Denis in France). Others can value the history of their industry or revive an economic sector (coal, steam trains).
When traveling for business, think about what companies you can visit! The proposed experiences are also good ideas for team building activities.