The decision-making centres of the tourism industries are located on the Côte d’Azur in exceptional conditions, and at a strategic anchoring point both in geographic and technological terms.

Excellence in business and leisure tourism, coupled with specialised ICT expertise make the Côte d’Azur fertile ground for developing new functions and new services that are implemented in m-tourism, as well as in the fields of logistics and yachting.



The Côte d'Azur, one of the world’s leading tourist destinations

France is the world’s number one tourist destination, and excluding the Paris area, the Côte d’Azur is the first foreign tourist destination in the country.  

As well as its natural beauty, located between sea and mountain and bathed in light that has been a source of fascination for the greatest of painters, the region boasts rich cultural heritage, with over 130 museums and monuments.

Tourism on the Côte d'Azur

  • 11 million tourists for over 67 million overnight stays.
    Foreign visitors make up 48% of trips to the region and 52% of overnight stays.
  • France’s most significant cruise centre, with over a million passengers
  • France’s 2nd largest airport with 11.5 million passengers in Nice in 2013
  • 5 billion euros spent by tourists in the context of their stays, generating 10 billion in revenue, accounting for 9% of international tourism takings in France.
    63% of this amount is spent by foreign clients, and ¼ by business clients.
  • 75,000 tourism-related jobs – double this if indirect jobs are taken into account.

Source: CRT/Touriscope Côte d’Azur 2013. La Côte d’Azur s’entend ici: Alpes-Maritimes et Monaco.

Tourism weighting in the PACA region’s economy

  • 14 billion euros in annual takings in 2011,
    which accounts for 11% of the region’s GDP and €2800 of average annual income per inhabitant
  • 1 billion euros of annual investment in the tourism sector in 2010
  • 148,000 jobs (7.5% of the regional total)
  • 31 million tourist stays per year, of which 5.7 million are made by foreign tourists,
  • Highest ranking nationally for the number of French and foreign tourist overnight stays.
  • 2nd highest ranking in Europe in terms of capacity for welcoming tourists, just behind Catalonia.

Source: Tourism PACA 2010


Business tourism

One of the world’s top 10 destinations

With two million business visitors, of which 500,000 are conventioneers, the Côte d’Azur is the second highest ranking French destination for international business tourism, after Paris.

The Côte d’Azur boasts hosting infrastructure that allows it to rival the great European cities. The Festival Hall in Cannes ranked second trade shows & conventions center in France in 2013. It  is also the only such establishment in Europe to have been granted a triple Quality, Safety and Environment certificate. Cannes, Nice Acropolis and the Forum Grimaldi in Monaco offer auditoriums to seat more than 1900. The Côte d’Azur offers a thousand seminar rooms and over 30 event, meeting and exhibition spaces. Almost 150 hotels designed for seminars and conventions are equipped with meeting rooms of over 50 m2.

A third of the Côte d’Azur hotel offer has been awarded 4 or 5 stars. The big international resorts are all represented here: Barrière, Accor, Four Seasons, Marriott, Radisson, Club Méditerranée Partouche, etc. In compliance with strict specifications, the ‘Premier Events Partners’ excellence club brings together halls, hoteliers, caterers, transporters as well as incoming agencies.

Business tourism on the Côte d'Azur

  • 2nd ranking French destination for international business tourism,
  • Europe’s 2nd largest airport for business flight clients after Le Bourget  (Nice-Cannes-St Tropez hub)
  • 2 million business visitors (20% of tourism)
    500,000 conventioneers per year,
    of which 200,000 are air conventioneers who spend €253 per day (2005/2009 average).
  • 400 national and international events, including: the International Film Festival, MIPCOM, MIPTV, MIPIM, Imagina, SAP Partner Congress, PeopleSoft Conference, Tax Free World Exhibition, Gartner Symposium Itxpo, etc.
  • France’s largest offer of congress centres after Paris, with 8 congress centres
  • 1000 seminar rooms and approximately thirty events sites
  • one of Europe’s largest low-cost Business offers
  • 32 5-star hotels amounting to 3544 rooms, which is 12% of the hospitality offer
  • 1 stay out of every 5 is business-related (5 nights each on average), generating a quarter of tourism spending on the Côte d’Azur.

Source: Touriscope CRT June 2013

Yachting and leisure

At the service of the super yachts

The Côte d’Azur and the sea have always gone hand-in-hand. Every year, it attracts a million cruise passengers. This intense love affair was also the catalyst for a first-class maritime industry, which has today developed in response to international demand for innovative, highly-specialised products and new manufacturing processes. The Côte d’Azur’s strategic location gives it easy access to southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Almost a million cruise companies

  • 35 pleasure ports providing 18,402 mooring points.
  • 572 calling points for cruise companies in 2012, with a total of 934,288 cruise passengers in the ports of Nice, Villefranche, Monaco, Cannes, Antibes and Golfe-Juan.
    France’s most significant cruise centre.
  • Almost a million cruise passengers (934,288) with 572 cruise ship stop-offs in 2012 in the ports of Nice, Villefranche, Monaco, Cannes, Antibes and Golfe-Juan.
  • 93% of passengers make stop-offs.

Source: CRT Touriscope June 2013

Along with the Florida-Caribbean area, the Côte d’Azur offers one of the world’s two main yachting navigational and cruising zones. Every year, the western Mediterranean welcomes 50% of the world’s total fleet of yachts* and it is estimated that 80 to 90% of all yachts will, at some point in their lifespan, stop off in one of the Côte d’Azur’s ports!
* Source: MDER 2004

The Côte d’Azur boasts a dense network of businesses involved in the maritime, yachting, leisure and seaside industries, and notably companies specialising in maintenance and repairs, sail-lofts, engines, superstructure fit-outs, crew management, training, recruitment agencies, ship chandlers, yacht design and ship electronics.

Nautical centre on the Côte d’Azur: breakdown of number of companies per commune


Source: CCI / Sirius 2009

Most of the companies are located in the region’s 6 biggest ports: Villefranche, Nice, Antibes, Golfe-Juan, Cannes, and Mandelieu. Antibes is Europe’s biggest pleasure port in terms of tonnage, and boasts a ‘billionaires’ quay’ (recently renamed 'quai Camille Rayon') where the world’s most beautiful yachts are moored. The port is also recognised as a technical stop-off point along the Mediterranean.

The Côte d'Azur nautical centre

947 establishments

3284 jobs

800 million euros in turnover

Source: CCI/Sirius 2014 (2013 data)


The local community is primarily comprised of VSEs (3-4 employees on average) with craft skills divided across several business sectors: Sale/Wholesale, Hire/Services, Manufacture/Construction, Maintenance/Repair/Installation, Interior and Exterior building solutions.

One special local feature is professional yachting, which concerns the big ships with permanent crews and accounts for 40% of turnover in the local nautical sector (320 million euros) and represents 1779 jobs for 464 companies in 2013.

The presence of big international companies offering equipment and services such as BWA Yachting (Switzerland) or Transas Mediterranean (Russia), bears testimony to the commercial and strategic advantages that come with operating out of the Côte d’Azur.

A destination favoured by the super yachts, the Côte d’Azur hosts the two reference exhibitions in the sector:  the Cannes Yachting Festival  and the  Monaco Yacht Show (MYS). 

The RYNetwork association brings together over 80 companies in the sectors of yacht refit, repair, maintenance and services across the PACA region.

The Nice Cote d'Azur CCI has set up a co-operation agreement with the Institut Nautique de Bretagne (INB), the 1st French centre for professional training in marine trades founded in 1965 under the name of ECB (Ecole de Chefs de Bases).  This co-operation will provide a shared training offer consistent with the needs of companies in terms of professional training and learning.The INB Cote d'Azur offers a "Marine" training centre in the buildings known as the "Anciennes forges".  This centre is dedicated to the repair, restoration and marketing of pleasure craft and yachts.

Airports Connections and logistical expertise

The Nice Côte d’Azur airport is France’s second largest after Paris. Passenger footfall is over 11 million people with flights leaving for over a hundred destinations, mainly towards Europe’s big capitals, North America (New York) and the Middle East (Dubai). With its two key platforms in Nice and Cannes, the Côte d’Azur is ranked as Europe’s third largest centre for business flights after Paris and Geneva.

The economic impact of all of these activities amounts to 7 billion euros and almost 5000 direct jobs. To enhance these different strands of expertise, the Association of the Côte d’Azur Airports launched an engineering subsidiary in 2010, called Nice Airport Management, aimed at French and international clients.

The Nice-Côte d’Azur airport has the necessary infrastructure for taking in large cargo planes, and so it is here that integrated satellites are transported to Cannes and then to their launch stations across the world.



Digital innovation at the service of the tourism industry

The ultimate tourist destination, the Côte d’Azur has become a real laboratory where new services and functions stemming from IT technologies applied to tourism are developed and tested. Sophia Antipolis has been home to Amadeus for over 25 years, the world leader in bookings processing solutions for the travel industry, employing over 5000 people across the technopole in R&D and marketing. Flight companies, airports, rail companies, travel agents, hotels, cruise operators… millions around the world use these solutions, developed right here on the Côte d’Azur.

Telecom Valley is an association that encompasses approximately a hundred companies and players in TIC on the Côte d’Azur, and was one of the precursors to m-Tourism almost 15 years ago. An mTourism commission connects the large Groups, SMEs, academics and governmental bodies to develop Internet standards and usage in the context of mobile tourism. Telecom Valley organises an annual forum called Tourism@, devoted to breakthrough innovations in TIC as applied to the world of tourism.

Start-ups are surfing these waves as well, such as SeaSatCom, a real ‘operator of the seas’. This SME developed a platform to manage configuration and subscriptions to a range of services, such as GSM, Internet and TV for pleasure yacht owners, a sector of excellence in Côte d’Azur nautical activities.

Touristic decision-making centres

The Côte d'Azur – the gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean

The Côte d’Azur offers decision-making centres for the tourism industries a strategic anchoring point in order to develop their operations across Europe and the Mediterranean.

The region also provides companies with a ‘prestigious’ address for leaders in the tourism industry, and a pool of specialised and multicultural workers, thanks to the multilingual environment and specific training courses.

Whether used for corporate headquarters, EMEA management (Europe, Africa and the Middle East), customer service and bookings centres, centres for technological innovation, design or training, the Côte d’Azur is the ideal location for accommodating corporate decision-making centres for companies specialising in the tourism industries.

They all chose the Côte d'Azur: international leaders in tourism

  • Amadeus: global R&D hub; largest employer in Sophia Antipolis
  • Air France – KLM: global bookings centre
  • American Express: European customer service centre
  • AB Croisière -  Karavel Promovacances: N°1 in France for online cruise sales
  • Netvacation: European cruise specialist, owner of Dreamlines portal
  • Expedia: the world’s biggest travel company
  • IBM and Accenture established their teams here, notably teams responsible for design and system integration for the tourism industries
  • Rodriguez Group: world leader in luxury yachts based in Cannes
  • Proair: private international aviation company with its French headquarters in Cannes Mandelieu


7 reasons to choose the Côte d’Azur for players in the tourism industry

  • One of the world’s best-loved tourist destinations and Europe’s no. 1 pleasure port
  • Presence of leaders in the e-tourism sector
  • A fertile breeding ground for innovation
  • A place where creative talent and thriving multiculturalism meet
  • Singular and stimulating quality of life
  • An international metropolis with links to the entire world
  • Office real estate that meets the highest international standards.