In the context of the work initiated during the tourism conferences held in June 2014, which identified gastronomy as a priority area, Mr. Laurent Fabius will today participate in a meeting with the “Club de la Table Française” [French dining club] at the Ferrandi culinary school.
Mr. Laurent Fabius called on Mr. Bruno de Monte, Director of the Ferrandi culinary school, and Antoine Cachin, Chairman of the French Institute of Tourism, to serve as rapporteurs for a Tourism Promotion Council project focusing on training. They will issue their conclusions in March. Further enhancing our welcome to tourists requires considerable training efforts in all tourism-related professions, notably through the learning of foreign languages. The image of restaurant-related professions must be enhanced, since they represent the face of gastronomy for foreign tourists.
Gastronomy has been included in the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and is a major asset for France’s tourism and foreign trade. With a turnover of €190 billion in 2013 and 12,000 firms (98% of which are SMEs with less than 250 employees), agriculture and agri-food are key economic sectors, accounting for our second largest trade surplus, after aerospace. Three sectors – wines and spirits, cereals and dairy products – account for 38% of total exports.