Published on : Monday, January 6, 2014
France has invested 48 million Euros in projects for the coming 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy. The outbreak of the First World War 1914 will be remembered across the world and France is doing its best to attract tourists to its historically significant locales.
Visitors will be very eager to take a tour of France and visiting places of attraction which will include some memorable sites related to the historic events. The renovation of the Museum of the Battle of Fromelles and the creation of “memory trails” on hiking sites in Vosges and Haut-Rhin – All this has been planned to accommodate the millions of tourists who visit France every year.
An enhanced focus on remembrance in 2014 will be welcomed by the millions of local visitors who flock to these sites of interest and will surely do so in even larger numbers this year. In 2012, local tourists made up 55% of the memorial tourists, as was reported by Atout France and the Ministry of Defense, which works out at 3.5 million people.
According to the director of the French Tourism Development Agency, French visitors have a greater appreciation for the full meaning and main objectives of memorial tourism – perhaps out of a need to preserve their own heritage and a deeper, personal connection to the site of interest – and while others may simply appreciate the monuments and the events of the past, native tourists go further and can appreciate the full perspective of the event or site, its impact on future generations and the importance of continuing to preserve and develop these areas.
The remaining 45 percent of these “memorial tourists” come from international visitors and 70% of these 2.7 million travelled from just five nations: Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US.
It is believed that while the French embrace the spirit and objectives of this style of tourism, the visitors from other nations do so primarily to pay their respects. The future of the regions and the greater picture may be lost on some foreign visitors but they are still keen to see key areas of interest for themselves, with sites like Omaha Beach and Chemin des Dames, commemorative areas like the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Necropolis and the Hartmannswillerkopf Memorial in Alsace and museums like that of the Great War in Meaux being among the many battlefields, memorials and sites of interest on foreign itineraries.
France will definitely see a surge in its tourism in 2014. People from the UK and US wish to be a part of this memorable year in France as they will come to pay their respects. With restoration projects and more landmarks created to mark the event will naturally add to the remembrance process and will attract more tourism in the future.