21% of Bretons who can go on holiday or for the weekend between June and September say they do so… in their region! But is Breton tourism as dependent as that on its own inhabitants?
Apart from tourist overnight stays, the Bretons (very) far from the lead
Well, in reality, the Bretons do not count that much in regional tourism. According to data from the Regional Tourism Committee (CRT) taken from the Flux Vision Tourisme system for the year 2022, they account for 14 million tourist overnight stays. That is 12% of the total volume in Brittany.
Logically, in number of overnight stays, the inhabitants of regions such as Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes or New Aquitaine achieve much more impressive results thanks, among other things, to much larger populations. So that in proportion, Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Grand Est stand out very largely. Moreover, even when we reduce these data to the number of inhabitants of each region, Brittany still remains slightly behind.
More foreign tourists
This trend can be explained by several reasons: firstly, unlike regions such as the Grand Est or Hauts-de-France, where the percentage of intraregional tourist flows in the total number of tourist overnight stays is much higher, Brittany is a region very largely receiving tourists. Already, in 2006, in her “analysis of the geography of tourist flows in metropolitan France”, the researcher Patricia Lejoux explained that “coastal regions such as Brittany maintain an advantageous relationship with the outside world, since they receive twice as many nights than they emit”.
Deputy Director of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Tourisme, Laurent Cormier puts forward another element of explanation: “The Brittany region is a very powerful brand in the minds of tourists, however, the very nature of its territory makes it perhaps less attractive than others throughout the year. From Drôme Provençale to ski resorts in Savoie and Haute-Savoie, via the volcanoes of Auvergne: it is easier for us to capitalize throughout the year with territories that each have a different seasonality”.
The Bretons, the majority in Cap-Sizun and the Arrée mountains
However, the weight of Bretons in regional tourism is growing: “In 2016, 9% of regional overnight stays were made by Bretons, notes Jessica Viscart, deputy director of the Observatory and Development division at Tourisme Bretagne. We have an increase of three points in six years”. Laurent Cormier adds: “For a very long time there was the reflex of relying on external customers, whether French or foreign, to develop tourist activity. Today, we are working more on this local clientele with offers and systems that we are developing in this direction”.
According to data from the Reflet tourist attendance survey conducted in the region in 2022, locals will be very largely in the majority in Cap-Sizun and the Arrée mountains. On the Brocéliande side, they are neck and neck with the inhabitants of the Loire while, on the Breton islands, they are found as numerous as the Ile-de-France residents.
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