Euro 2016: France ready to welcome tourists from around the world!


France is set to welcome over 1.5 million fans from around the world for the UEFA Euro 2016 Football Championship, to take place from 10 June to 10 July. All State services, including the action of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in promoting tourism and its operator Atout France are mobilized to ensure that this event will be a success.

The State has set four priorities:

  • ensure the highest organizational standards;
  • make Euro 2016 an event for the people, for everyone, everywhere;
  • use Euro 2016 to help French growth and attractiveness;
  • promote sporting values through Euro 2016.

“Welcome to France”: a unique message for foreign tourists

UEFA Euro 2016 is a major event for France’s international attractiveness and outreach and offers a great opportunity to generate tourist flows and attract new clientèle to the tournament’s host cities, provided that the proper preparations are made.

France must above all provide a high-quality welcome, project an image of hospitality, and create goodwill by focusing on the supporters who have made the trip. It was for this reason that the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Atout France, the committee of host cities, CCI France (French Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and the DGE created the “Welcome to…” campaign which will be launched in early June.

This operation, which will enable a unique welcome message to be issued to visitors, will be rolled out in the seven participating host cities, entitled Welcome to Paris/ Lille Métropole / Lyon / Nice / Bordeaux Métropole / Toulouse / Saint-Denis.

Based on the idea that every French person can be an ambassador for France, it will promote the enthusiasm and will of all actors in the welcome chain (retailers, cafés, restaurant owners, hotelkeepers, etc.) in order to provide the best possible welcome to foreign visitors.

Significant economic impact

The European Football Championship is a major international event in terms of France’s attractiveness and outreach. It offers an exceptional window to showcase innovation and expertise, in particular from France, in a wide range of sectors (public services, transport, environment, construction, sport, digital technology, tourism, health).

The Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport (CDES) has studied the expected economic impact of the European Football Championship which will be held from 10 June to 10 July in 10 host cities. UEFA Euro 2016 will generate an estimated €1.266 billion for the French economy!

  • supporters in the stadiums and fanzones will spend an estimated €800 million, including €200 million in the fanzones;
  • the contracts awarded to French businesses for organizing Euro 2016 are estimated at €400 million.

This leads to significant economic potential which is mainly explained by the popularity of the event. Across the tournament’s 31 days and 51 matches involving the 24 competing teams, no less than 150 million TV viewers are expected per match, and in France 2.5 million spectators (including 1.5 million foreign visitors) are set to attend the matches, which should represent 250,000 overnight stays when the players, officials, media, suppliers and partners are all included.

Total spending throughout France, stadiums and fanzones included, should reach €788 million.

But the economic benefits are also measured in the number of jobs created to build and upgrade the stadiums (20,000 jobs) and to organize the tournament itself (over 94,000 people employed).

These jobs provide a turnover boost mainly for French businesses (58%).
(source: Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport (CDES) and CCI France)

Host cities ready for kick-off

In the space of a month, 51 matches will be attended by 2.5 million fans across the 10 French stadiums selected for the tournament.

In each city, fanzones will be the hub of excitement, with giant screens showing the matches and funzones for the youngest fans bringing a festive atmosphere to UEFA Euro 2016.

The tournament’s 10 host cities are:

Increased security measures

Over 90,000 police, gendarmes and private security personnel will provide security at UEFA Euro 2016 (10 June - 10 July).

Some 77,000 police and gendarmes, 13,000 private security personnel, some of the 10,000 troops from Operation Sentinelle and 1,000 volunteers from first aid associations are mobilized to maintain public order and address the risk of terrorism. Police and gendarmes, who will be stationed outside the stadiums to “maintain public order” will also, if necessary, be able to take action within the stadium.

“Nobody, and especially not terrorists, will prevent us from living our normal lives and continuing to celebrate the sporting values of fraternity and sharing,” said Bernard Cazeneuve, French Interior Minister.

Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reiterated France’s commitment “with all our strength… to ensure the safety of everyone living in and visiting in France, including the supporters who will come to France for Euro 2016.” “The French authorities are mobilizing all necessary skills and resources and are cooperating with partner countries to this end,” the Minister concluded.

Updated: May 2016