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News from HERIT-DATA
The 2020 summer season in the Pont Du Gard pilot site!
The Pont Du Gard in Occitanie, France
This month we will focus on how our French pilot site, the Pont du Gard (Occitanie Region), dealt with the sanitary crisis during the summer season.

After a few months of closure due to lockdown, the Pont du Gard site reopened on June 2nd with the setup of specific measures. Guaranteeing the safety of employees and visitors is the priority objective of the post-lockdown, and the site has partnered with a certification office, Socotec, to ensure that preventive health measures and hygiene rules adapted to the spaces and the flow of visitors are in place.

Concerning the tourist season, the first month of opening allowed the Pont du Gard to test the sanitary system set up, with the arrival of visitors from the local territory. Indeed, the crisis has caused the cancellation of many trips of French and international tourist groups.

The months of July and August saw a restart of the Pont du Gard activity, with the reception of the general public. The site has refocused its summer activities around guided tours, open air tours, sound and light shows, etc.

Although overall attendance from June to September has dropped by more than 30% (due to the absence of groups, which represent a big number of customers in this timespan), the period from July to August was a little better, with a decrease of only 12%.

International visitors accounted for 40%, compared with 53% in 2019. Most of them came from neighboring countries, such as Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom.

> Learn about HERIT-DATA pilot sites
> Learn more about Pont Du Gard
News from the tourism sphere
The tourist season across Europe:
how did it go?
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

As summer is now over, this month we will look at some data about the tourist season, to see how it went across Europe.

Despite the lifting of travel restrictions in many countries, the Covid-19 pandemic had a heavy impact on the tourism sector. According to UNWTO, Europe was the second-hardest hit of all global regions, with a 66% decline in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2020.

The travel limitations for international arrivals in many countries discouraged most travelers to spend their summer holidays abroad.

For example, France launched the campaign #cetetejevisitelafrance (this year I’m visiting France) in order to promote domestic tourism, and it worked: among the 53% of French people who travelled in July and August, 94% have remained in France.

Other countries provided incentives to encourage people to travel. For example, Italy introduced the “Bonus Vacanze” (holiday bonus) which was supposed to provide a financial incentive for people with a revenue below 40,000 euros.

Despite what we could think, many destinations still experienced overcrowding!

For example, this year the natural sites of Lac de Sainte Croix and Gorges du Verdon in Southern France saw an unprecedented flow of tourists in search of nature, big spaces and open air.

This impacted the natural ecosystem, which has been damaged by the flow and behavior of big numbers of visitors.

What will the rest of 2020 look like from a tourism point of view?


Here is a selection of upcoming events and webinars:

European Tourism Convention
October 12 - Click here

Rencontres nationales etourisme
Pau, France
October 13-15 - Click here

Forum TurisTIC: Towards new models of tourism
Barcelona, Spain + Online
October 13 - Click here

#EURegionsWeek - Sustainable mobility in tourist destinations
October 20 - Click here

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