The Rugby World Cup, which will take place in France from September 8 to October 28, 2023, represents a major challenge for our territory.
Also, François de Canson, vice-president of the Region and president of the Regional Tourism Committee (CRT) will mobilize all his partners to establish an ambitious action plan, commensurate with this world event.
Thus, with the strength of this collective and at the service of all the actors of tourism in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, the vice-president of the Region will take up the challenge. In June, the CRT will prospect many world markets to convince tour operators and spectators to settle in the South region during the competition. In addition, the presence of hundreds of international journalists for more than 50 days will make it possible to show the whole world that the southern region is the region of happiness!.
François de Canson, Vice-President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region, President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Regional Tourism Committee, answers questions from the Gazette du Var.
The Rugby World Cup is the 3rd sporting event in the world?
Francois de CANSON. Indeed, this represents 48 matches, 9 stadiums, 10 cities and 7 host regions.
The Rugby World Cup is a global event with economic benefits estimated at €3.2 billion.
When the kick-off of this Rugby World Cup is given in September 2023, it will put an end to eight years of absence in Europe, where the Cup had been disputed in England.
Hence the enormous preparatory work?
FdC. In 2019, we were the first Region to launch an Ambition 2023 Rugby Plan of €4 million until 2023. €3.6 million have already been invested. We also provided €1.8 million to support the operation and investment of clubs and €1.2 million to support actions and events of the Regional League of the French Rugby Federation, chaired by Bernard Laporte and GIP France 2023, directed by Claude Atcher. Not to mention €600,000 for support for high-level sport.
At the end of 2021, we decided to accelerate with a new “Road to the 2020 World Cup” Plan with an additional €1.5 million. In total, we have invested €5.1 million in this way.
In 2022, is the South Region therefore at the heart of the rugby fray?
FdC. Indeed. First of all, with the XV of France internship in Aubagne last February, then the European Cup Finals at the Vélodrome in May and the Top 14 semi-Finals in Nice in June. In addition, in July, the South Region will be the main partner of the Rugby Africa Cup 2022, the qualifying tournament for the 2023 World Cup. The winner will play in the pool of France and New Zealand in 2023.
But let’s talk tourism now…
FdC. As Renaud Muselier likes to repeat, the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region is a collective that moves forward together like a rugby pack. A year ago, together, the Region, the CRT and the host cities of Marseille and Nice, we decided to build an ambitious action plan, up to the challenges of this global event. Very quickly, other partners joined our team.
I would like to thank the tourist offices of the Métropole de Toulon Provence Méditerranée (TPM), Antibes Juan-les-Pins, Aix-en-Provence, and the Luberon Cœur de Provence for their presence.
The South region is the only region in France to unite its forces in this way and to mobilize so many resources.
This anticipated strategy will allow you to fulfill four main objectives?
FdC. First of all, we are going to pool our financial resources. Thus, nearly €500,000 will be dedicated to this major action and promotion plan for our territory. It is considerable!
Then we will meet the tour operators of the targeted countries, such as South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The objective is to convince them to install the base camp of their supporters in our region!
I remind you that it is estimated that 450,000 foreign visitors will come to France for this Rugby World Cup in September and October 2023! The challenge is therefore major!
We all know the richness of our region. It should enable us to convince visitors to extend their period of stay. This is our third objective! We are going to present them with a global tourist offer, to show that the essential facilities and places are easily accessible and very numerous in our territory.
Without forgetting the presence of hundreds of journalists from all over the world?
FdC. It’s obvious ! This huge presence of journalists will create considerable media exposure to inspire future visits. The media will be present for nearly two months, at a particularly pleasant time of year in our region. It is absolutely necessary to take advantage of this global exposure and convince them that our region is indeed the region of happiness.
Thus, to convince tour operators and spectators to bet on our region, we have no shortage of arguments, let me name a few: First of all, the birth of this pack, which allows us to be organized and coherent for the customer in our way of selling ourselves and thus be more attractive.
The region alone will bring together more than 20% of all matches in the competition, including quarter-final matches!
Then, great proximity between our two stadiums and easy access by public transport. In addition, we have great expertise in welcoming international customers because we are the second tourist region in France after Paris. We have an accommodation offer, and a diversity of very important courses. Not to mention the weather with an expected Indian summer! It is up to us to mobilize collectively to win this challenge in terms of economic benefits and image!