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Tourism in the hinterland: the good choices of Dracénie Provence Verdon agglomeration

Buffer space between the coast and the Verdon, the Dracénie has no shortage of recreational, event or cultural assets.

Since the beginning of the health crisis, it has focused the attention of the greatest number and has posted a rather satisfactory balance sheet.

On Thursday, the Rabiega estate, in Draguignan, shone at the start of the tourist season.

It must be said that in recent years the Dracénien territory has played the card of complementarity perfectly, with actions at the scale of the agglomeration and sometimes even beyond allowing the city center and its surrounding municipalities to “resist” well. to the overall drop in attendance in 2020 and 2021.

The teams were therefore in full force to “sell” the Var hinterland by presenting the challenges to be met for the new season.

Distribute flows

One of the main challenges is to control and distribute flows throughout the territory to develop tourism that is neither destructive nor mass.

For this, the DPVa (Dracénie Provence Verdon agglomeration) intends to develop the site of the Pennafort gorges, the second emblematic natural site of the territory, in order to share the flows between the municipalities of Sillans-la-Cascade and Callas.

“And to strengthen the city center by its median position between the two sites”, explains Célia Auclair, director of tourism. The agglomeration intends to take advantage of this operation to derive a financial interest from it with, no doubt, car parks and paid services attached.

Another track, directing summer visitors between municipalities with strong themes (sport-nature, culture, wine tourism and terroir) via the Vignobles et Découvertes label.

A nature axis which will also be developed on the side of La Roque-Esclapon-La Bastide with the creation of a station-trail in connection with the Smart destination Verdon, the development of the Bel Homme pass in Bargemon.

A “soft” method to direct them to other sites of interest. In this respect, the agglomeration intends to continue the route of Vigne à vélo with two new sections.

One between the SNCF station and Sainte-Roseline, the other connecting Les Arcs to Taradeau. The development of a car park at the entrance to Le Muy-Les Arcs section 1 is also planned as part of the 2022-2023 investments.

These new stages, animated with the bike reception network, can lead to the path of culture and heritage.

Creation of a shop at the tourist office

The agglomeration intends to continue the route of Vigne à vélo with two new sections. Photo Ph.A..

In this area, the Dracénie offers many possibilities and has even benefited since last year from a new attractiveness with the Hôtel des expositions (HDE) du Var which offers two annual exhibitions and completes the existing offer.

“The HDE triggers overnight stays in Draguignan”assures Célia Auclair, who expects a lot from the possible fallout from the future Museum of Fine Arts (whose delivery is expected in 2023, Ed). Who says culture, says heritage.

Here too, the road seems to be mapped out towards the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire approach with the discovery of circuits (water, art, waterfalls) and inter-municipal paths.

Finally, two new features with the creation of an annual shared agenda and a Dracénie shop at the tourist office in Draguignan offering the sale of local products and souvenirs.

A plan that confirms that culture and terroir anchor tourism in Dracénie.

the 5 points to remember

Circuits connected
After Ampus, Callas, Figanières, Flayosc, Draguignan, Les Arcs, Taradeau and Trans four new circuits are connected this year. Three enriched contents for La Motte (D-Day circuit), Salernes (heritage circuit), La Roque-Esclapon (visit circuit in the village). Finally, in Bargemon, a video on the local mills. Another way to tell the story.

Bike Vine and EV8
The route develops with no less than 70 km in the territory. Cycle tourists can identify establishments and places suitable for cycling thanks to the label, created in 2011, “Accueil vélo”.

A sign “Destination Dracénie” on the A8
It should be installed on the highway in the next few days. And thus draw the attention of tourists to this destination Dracénie Provence Verdon, where if you “Come, you will come back” indicates the slogan…

Vineyards and discoveries label
It has just been renewed for three years. Good news for the 120 service providers who had chosen to commit to this approach by providing “all the rich culture and heritage Dracénie Provence Verdon”. Four applications for initial labeling are currently under study.

A cycle touring loop with the CCLGV
Avoid over-frequenting of certain sites. With this in mind, other routes are put forward to discover the heritage, including the cycle tourism loop project with the community of municipalities lakes and gorges du Verdon (LGV).

There over 35 km, it is a question of discovering the land (Villecroze), truffles (Aups) and waterfalls (Sillans). The historical, natural and gastronomic heritage with openings to the balconies of the Haut Var, the Verdon dams or the historic villages. “Staking is scheduled for the second half of 2022.”

A footbridge in Châteaudouble

After the Himalayan gateway to Trans-en-Provence, the Agglo turns to Chateaudouble by imagining another crossing.
It plans to restore pedestrian access to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste chapel, completely renovated, in the village by linking it to a hiking trail.

A new route, in the middle of nature, for walkers looking for the coolness of the Haut Var.

A little further east of Dracénie, other projects are in the works. First the renovation of the village of santons in Figanieres and its transition to an annual opening.

And, new games at the Dracénie Provence leisure park in Vidauban.

Also noteworthy, in the investment chapter, is the launch of the new tourism-culture master plan with a specific lot dedicated to accommodation and more particularly the hotel industry.

Special edition for the 10th anniversary of the exhibition Around wine and terroirs

Promotion goes through visibility. Photo by Camille Dodet.

Created on the sly ten years ago, the event quickly took off. Even if it is not the 10th edition of the exhibition Autour du Vin et des terroirs (the health crisis did not allow a fair to be held)a “special 10 years” program has already been announced for October 22 and 23.

It is intended to be a little more festive with a “flagship” cultural exhibition on the menu, workshops in partnership with the ATP museum, others for children, a mini-farm, more than a hundred exhibitors, a big game and the launch of a signature song.

A vast program which could even evolve with the envisaged return of transhumance.

It must be said that this type of event is ideal for the promotion of short and wine sectors.

October will be the month of wine tourism with another event: the Fascinating weekend which takes place over four days. “Last year 13 areas were involved, 22 events organized”.

The objective is to do better in 2022. Or 20 areas and 30 events. Promotion goes through visibility, another line of work on which the agglomeration is going all out with guided business cards for the 23 municipalities, five topos (sport, nature, leisure), a magazine, etc.

And especially by participating in trade fairs.

La Dracénie was present in Paris at the International Agricultural Show, in Mouans-Sartoux for Envie d’ailleurs, and it will take part for the first time this year in the Randonneur Shows (Lyon).

Similarly in July-August, holidaymakers who stop at the Vidauban Sud motorway rest area in the Aix-Nice direction will see the Dracénie mascot, the famous 2 CV, every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“A great Dracénie game will be offered to them”we assure.

Good to know

In terms of investments (2022-2026), two axes have been selected.

For the influence of the territory and economic development: 60,000 euros should be injected for the tourism and culture master plan with a hotel accommodation axis, 500,000 euros for the Pays d’art et d’histoire label and the enhancement of heritage.

For sustainable development:
500,000 euros for layout and enrichment of sites, 2 million euros for the Vigne à vélo and related facilities, 750,000 euros for the cycle route (Chemin Avals, Ampus link) and 100,000 euros for development heritage via connected circuits.

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