The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes breathes new energy into Cannes tourism as it unveils its 2018 strategy

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An essential strategic sector for the local economy and jobs, tourism is a priority for Cannes. Supporting its vitality and stimulating its growth is one of the major objectives of SEMEC, the public service delegate responsible for tourism and managing the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès and the Cannes tourist office on behalf of Cannes city council. Developed in conjunction with local socio-professional tourism organizations, the Commercial Action Plan (CAP) for 2018 describes SEMEC’s actions and strategies in keeping with the principles and areas determined during the tourism conference.
A large number of Cannes’ elected officials, hoteliers, restauranteurs, journalists, and event professionals met on Monday 11 December 2017 in the Estérel room for the presentation of the destination’s 2017 review and the orientations for 2018 with a view to supporting tourism and increasing Cannes’ international standing.
Given the burgeoning competition, the dynamism of our economic activity is first and foremost a result of the continuous and sustained efforts to ensure that our city is and continues to be capable of welcoming professionals from all over the world under the best possible conditions. "In a context of strong competition, the quality and modernity of the public space is an exceptional argument for the attractiveness and competitiveness of our tourist destination. Like the rest of the city, the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès continues to develop and modernize in order to increase tourism and ensure our destination’s reliability. Cannes has evolved significantly over the last three years, the destination has been embellished, renovated, is even more connected and secure and ready to welcome new 2018 events such as CANNESERIES and the Red Bull Air Race, which are being organized for the first time in France," said David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes and President of the Regional Côte d'Azur France Tourism Committee.
Alongside the actions undertaken by the city council, private sector businesses have embarked on major projects to modernize their infrastructure. In recent years, over 300 million euros has been invested by the hotel industry in Cannes in keeping with the renovations at the Palais des des Festivals et des Congrès.
"As part of this dynamic, in 2017 the Palais des Festivals, which is a catalyst for the economy in Cannes, has achieved results that are up on 2016. We hosted 51 professional events with nearly 280,000 participants and our customer satisfaction rate is estimated at 84% at the end of October - a record that demonstrates the strength of the business," said Claire-Anne Reix, President of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
The concerted mobilization of all the tourism professionals, both institutional and private, enables our destination to stay on course and reaffirm its professionalism and reliability.
Bringing together all Cannes’ strengths as a destination, the Cannes Convention Bureau has a twofold goal of optimizing the hotel occupancy rate in the winter period and weekends, and in 2018 achieving 300,000 business visitors.
In accordance with the conclusions of the first tourism conference, the 2018 CAP proposes new actions in line with the measures initiated in 2017.
Digital transformation and expansion of the digital offering
The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès is committed to becoming the world’s most connected convention center within five years.
In 2018 the implementation of a new digital strategy will stimulate online platforms (Cannes Convention Bureau and Leisure Activities). Cannes is continuing to develop customer/prospect relationship management (CRM) tools and is adapting to the mobile telephony sector. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès has decided to offer a preview of the "Cannes 360°" application, which will be available in January 2018. This new sales tool will offer an immersive, practical, informative and entertaining visit to the key places in the city, and in particular the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
In order to meet customer expectations, Wi-Fi coverage will be extended not only to the Palais but will also cover places frequented by visitors: La Croisette, the train station, Allées de le Liberté and the old port. As Didier Vescovi, CEO of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, points out: "Digital technology no longer affects just the way products and services are manufactured and marketed, but also our business activity throughout the entire value chain: from design to customer experience feedback, consumers are also actors and will soon be ambassadors for Cannes.”
Business tourism: improving efficiency
In an increasingly competitive market with the rise of European capitals, major French cities and emerging destinations, Cannes, as the leading French business destination after Paris, is developing actions aimed at event organizers.
 "To cope with the growing volatility in the tourism sector, only a strategy adapted to changes in the current era coupled with an offensive, innovative and concrete business offer will allow us to successfully meet the challenge of 2018," emphasizes Régis Faure , the new Director of Tourism.
Throughout the year the sales teams will deploy concrete measures in order to ensure the continuation of existing events and seek out new customers.
The focus will be on:
  • improving the customer experience and rooting events in the area throughout the year
  • increasing the influence of the Cannes Convention Bureau
  • optimizing marketing tools, including virtual reality tools
  • strengthening existing events
  • identifying new targets
  • increasing partnerships and networking between organizers, Cannes businesses and centers of excellence
  • maintaining maximum security standards
  • introducing an aggressive pricing policy to support the organizers in launching new events.
48 sales operations will support these measures, mainly in high-potential markets such as France, Great Britain, the United States and Germany. Two flagship events will be hosted this year: the UFI Global CEO Summit, for the first time in France and in Cannes - "It will be a unique opportunity to meet the 150 biggest exhibition organizers in the world", says Aliki Heinrich, Director of Business Tourism - and the M & I Forum, which will bring together 250 high-potential European clients.
In addition, operations will be intensified in the United States, in particular aimed at customers and journalists through workshops and event evenings. In total 49 events have already been confirmed for 2018.
At institutional fairs new recurring events will be added, such as:
12-14 February 2018 ESPORTS BAR (Reed Midem) 1000 participants
21-22 March 2018 Mobility Meeting (We You) 500 participants
06-11 April 2018 Cannes Séries (Association Française du Festival International des Séries) 2000 participants
As well as two other one-off congresses:
21-22 November 2018

Healthcare Meeting (We You)

 500 participants
27-30 June 2018
29-30 June 2018
144th Congrès des Notaires de France
Congrès UFF (One Touch Travel)
5000 participants
1250 participants
13-15 December 2018 Mazars Convention 1200 participants
Leisure tourism: in 2018 collaboration is central
"Following on from the tourism conference, 35 leisure-based tourism operations will mainly focus on four European markets - France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy - and four long-haul markets - United States, Russia, China and the Middle East," states Laure Toma Auneau, Director of Leisure Tourism. They will target an individual European short-stay clientele, the City Breakers, throughout the year, as well as high-value tourists from distant markets and groups, in particular in the low season.
Highlights of the new conquest strategy:
16 January:                                       China workshop with over 120 tour operators in Paris
30 January TO 2 February :             Russia workshop and familiarisation trip with over 30 buyers in Cannes
March:                                              Promotional evening event in Geneva
April:                                                  ILTM Dubai
May:                                                  ILTM Singapore
May in USA:                                      MICE and leisure evening in New-York followed by marketing in Boston and Washington
29 June:                                             Atout France presentations of South East Asian and Australian markets in Cannes
25 and 29 September:                    Familiarisation trips for the 40th anniversary of the Régates Royales Cannes (60 participants)
- Innovation: SEMEC facilitates the establishment of the first Chinese agency in Cannes - KAYTRIP
- Membership of the Atout France Cluster Littoral for the Swiss / Belgian European markets and the South East Asian markets
- Engagement with the German coach association, VRP
- Launch of "City Breaks" digital campaigns on the French market with, and on the UK, US and Canada markets with EXPEDIA
- Optimizing our visibility with influencers in order to promote the sport, quality of life, cultural, and fitness offering
- Transformation of the redesigned and digitized tourist office.
More than ever, as a destination Cannes unites tourism professionals around winning and attractive innovative operations. The aim is to collectively structure the offering: unity of place and human unity. United we stand for Cannes!

Press contact
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès: Elisabeth LARA - - Tel: + 33 (0)4 92 99 84 46

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