French departments give €1m in summer tourist vouchers

A path next to a sunny, windswept beach on the Ile De Ré. Visitors to island may be eligible for a €100 voucher this summer.
Visitors to Ile de Ré may be eligible for a €100 voucher this summer

Two departments in France have proposed giving away up to €1 million in €100 vouchers this summer, in a bid to encourage visits to the area and revitalise the local economy.

The departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) intend to offer visitors a voucher worth €100 for spending time in the area this summer.

To be eligible for the voucher, visitors will have to stay for at least two nights, visit a “traditional” restaurant, and visit a tourist site in the area. 

After visitors have taken a holiday that fulfils these criteria, they can upload their receipts to the Infiniment Charentes website for a €100 refund. The service will be available on the website from mid-June. 


Boosting the economy

Local tourism body, Charentes Tourisme, which is behind the plan, stated: “This measure will allow 10,000 households to benefit from support for a visit in Charente between July 1 and November 1, 2020." 

This equates to a total of €1 million being made available by the scheme, with €650,000 coming from Charente-Maritime, and €350,000 being contributed by Charente. 

Read more: The importance of tourism in France this summer

Read more: French residents can plan summer holidays in France

This drive to encourage summer tourism in the area is intended to help boost the local economy, which has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The website explains: “Since the beginning of the crisis, we have measured how locals have been affected and are closely monitoring the consequences for our 16,700 jobs and nearly 5,000 businesses."

They predict their pro-tourism scheme will result in “an injection of between €3m - €15m into the local economy".

Visitors, who can be resident in France or overseas, will be encouraged to visit a wide range of sites in the area so that tourism does not become concentrated on the Charentes-Maritime coast. 

Beautiful sites in Charente and Charente-Maritime

A summer sunset over a sunflower field in rural Charente.

A summer sunset over a sunflower field in rural Charente. (Rhys Kentish/Unsplash)

Historical buildings against a sunny, blue sky in Angoulême.

Historical buildings in sunny Angoulême. (Jael Vallee/Unsplash)

La Rochelle old port at dusk, with boats on the water and buildings lit up. Karim Manjra/Unsplash

Lights shining on the water of La Rochelle's old port. (Karim Manjra/Unsplash)

Cliffs running alongside the sea in Meschers-sur-Gironde.

Cliffs running alongside the sea in Meschers-sur-Gironde. (Anthony Choren/Unsplash)

Related articles 

Rural France prepares for summer tourism post-Covid-19

SNCF opens bookings for summer train travel in France

Imperial eagle recorded for first time in Charente

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