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May 27, 2009

New tourism body for France

Hervé Novelli, Secretary of State for Commerce, Artisanal Industry, Small and Mid-sized Business and Tourism, recently confirmed the creation of Atout France, a new association and the France tourism development agency.

Formed by the merger of Maison de la France, the promotional agency for foreign travel to France, and ODIT France, the tourism engineering agency, Atout France is now the sole national organisation for the tourism sector. Atout France has ambitious plans for a better coordinated and more efficient public policy in order to respond to the challenges posed to French tourism.

The government bill for development and modernisation of tourism services that was unanimously adopted by the Senate on 9 April 2009 and will be reviewed by the National Assembly in June, makes provisions for new aims, most notably the classification of tourism accommodations and the maintenance of a registry of travel agencies.

Atout France will continue to be responsible for tourism engineering, economic observation and promotion that was formerly handled by Maison de la France and ODIT France. It will also develop its international and educational activities.

As an association of public and private interests, Atout France aims to build on the successful experience gained in partnership administration as seen with Bienvenue France in the 1980s and by Maison de la France since 1987 and ODIT France since 2006.

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