Since the 1990s, both Norman regions have had a common regional tourism council. The dynamism of Normandy tourism contributed to the economy of the region and encouraged more agreement than disagreement between the regional candidates.
The reunified Normandy is already a reality and has been since the 1990s, at least in the tourism industry. There are two regional councils for the Haute and the Basse regions, but only one tourism council. Consequently, its presidency often changes from one side of the Seine to the other. This common structure oversees and coordinates the policies led by the five departments in the area of Normandy tourism.
According to professionals, the reunification has been very good for business.
“We have become the fourth touristic region for short breaks (long weekends and getaways etc.). We have 16 million visitors each year,” stated Jean-Louis Laville, director of the Committee of Tourism in Normandy.
The region also derives a significant amount of its GDP from the tourism industry – 5.7%. In terms of employment, the sector generates on average 38,600 positions a year (up to 51,000 during the festive season).
Taking into account its economic weight and the experience of reunification carried out for several years, the tourism agenda has caused little differences amongst different political powers competing in the region.
“I think that everyone understood that our economic interest was to simply remove barriers (political), professionalism matters to us and that’s what is attractive about our region from the outside,” explained Paul Chandelier, president of the tourism committee of Calvados.
It is therefore not surprising that certain proposals garner support. The promotion of Norman identity unites even the Front National to the PS. To do so, the FN, Debout la France (France stand up), and the PS are in favor of the creation of a new theme park. Others like LR – UDI, Le Modem and also Debout la France propose the creation of a “Normandy” brand. ‘Soft’ tourism has gathered more support on the left – Nouvelle Donne and Ecologie Les Verts propose to create regional reserves.