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“Today, we are thinking of us!”: our interview with the director of the tourist office of Orléans and the metropolis

Axel de Beaumont, director of the Orléans Métropole tourist office, answered questions from The Rep’, this Monday, April 25.

Since the spring, tourists seem to be flocking to Orléans. Do you see it??

“Between April 11 and April 24, we had 8,945 visitors to the tourist office. That’s a lot?! It reflects national trends. We can indeed see that there is a strong desire for French to go on vacation, from spring weekends. This desire is already felt in reservations for the summer.”

The novelties of the future season presented at the tourist exchange

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The aliens are back??

“Yes. We still have the Belgians, the Dutch, the Germans who made the success of last summer (the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, it was our trio). But there are also the Spaniards and the Italians who are making a comeback.”

“After two years in which they were locked up, the English are coming back. It’s a real satisfaction, because before the Covid, they were in the top 5, then fell to ninth place.”

What prospects for this summer??

“I think we are going to have slightly fewer French people than last summer. Because last year, people were still afraid to go abroad. This year, 11% are planning to go out borders, against the usual 5%. But we should have many more foreigners (and in particular from neighboring European countries), who are going the opposite way.”

“We also see that the Americans are back, especially in Paris, and I think we will reap the benefits this summer. We still have 11,000 Americans who came last summer. And I think that can we expect more?!”

Are the Johannine Feasts still a breath of fresh air??

“There is a loyal public, which is ready to come from afar to participate. But it’s a little early to say if we’re going to have an effect this year. In any case, it’s an expected event. In the parties, you have to include the electro set in particular. There are thousands of locals, but also their friends who come for this occasion. We can also mention the projections on the cathedral. It has an immediate effect, but also more long term on tourist numbers.”

It has been progressing well over the past few years.

“Already last summer, despite the Covid, we had an overall attendance of +7% compared to the previous summer. We see that all the promotional efforts are producing their effect. And it’s not over?! We are working on a partnership with SNCF Connect and with a bicycle tour operator, among others.”

The cathedral, always more photographed. (Photo Christelle Gaujard)

“Last year, 95,648 visitors went to the tourist office compared to 45,000 in 2020; we are really in a strong dynamic. For a long time, Orléans and the metropolis were considered as a stage of a journey. Today , people have become aware (even if there is still a lot of work to do) that we can be a real destination to spend 3-4 days in. We are a city break destination (long weekends, short stays): this remains our main target.”

“I usually say that Orléans is like an oyster which, for years, has hidden its pearl or pearls. Our goal is to break the shell to make people want to come to us.”

“In France, currently, everyone estimates that there is an average increase of 15 to 20 points in international customers. The good news is that today, it also affects us, whereas at a time, it wouldn’t have had an impact here. They’re thinking of us?!”

Blandine Lamorisse

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