PARIS — Nineteen French firms — including Groupe Galeries Lafayette and Kering — on Thursday launched a new organization aimed at promoting tourism in France, which remains the world’s top destination for overseas visitors in volume terms, but has been steadily losing market share.
Alliance 46.2 takes its name from the latitude and longitude of France and is made up of companies from sectors including travel, hotel, retail, food and events.
Its founders are Accor; Aéroports de Paris; APST; BNP Paribas; Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations; Cityvision; Club Méditerranée; Compagnie des Alpes; Elior; Euro Disney; Groupe Galeries Lafayette; GL Events; Groupe Flo; Kering; Lagardère Services; Groupe Lucien Barrière; Groupe Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs; SNCF and Viparis.
Frédéric Pierret, managing director of Alliance 46.2, said it was urgent for France to step up its efforts to attract foreign visitors in the face of growing competition from the United States and China, which in recent years have enacted laws to promote tourism.
“Our country, which has so many assets, must be careful not to lose market share, to monitor the level of its investments, and to keep an eye on average spending by visitors, which tends to lag our direct competitors. We feel that a group of large companies can contribute to this new expansion,” he said.
France welcomed 83 million visitors in 2012, but has been falling behind neighbors like Spain and Germany in terms of the growth in visitor numbers and revenues since 2000, according to statistics provided by the organization.
Alliance 46.2 said that if spending per tourist in France were on a par with the United States, the industry would earn an additional 65.3 billion euros, or $88.3 billion at current exchange, per year and generate 400,000 new jobs.
Philippe Houzé, chief executive officer of Groupes Galeries Lafayette and one of three vice presidents of Alliance 46.2, said it was unclear why France was lagging.
“One of the aims of this alliance is to study precisely the different factors at play in order to see how we can improve,” he said. “Shopping is a real factor. This is a fairly new dimension that has emerged in the last five or six years, and which must now be integrated into the value chain of tourist stays in France.”
Alliance 46.2 has created working groups around four subjects: visitor welcome, promotion, jobs and training, and investment. They are expected to issue their first recommendations in the next few weeks on topics including tourist security, visa delivery procedures and the rules governing stores opening on Sundays.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye