Major PR drive to tempt tourists back to Brittany

PARIS: The French Tourism Ministry is launching a pounds 5 million advertising and PR campaign to reassure tourists that France’s Atlantic beaches are clean after last December’s Erika oil spill off Britanny.

PARIS: The French Tourism Ministry is launching a pounds 5 million

advertising and PR campaign to reassure tourists that France’s Atlantic

beaches are clean after last December’s Erika oil spill off

Britanny.



Michelle Demessine, secretary of state for tourism, said the spill

caused sufficient damage to French tourism that, without such a

campaign, the industry - which employs two million people - would be

irrevocably damaged.



With more than 70 million tourists each year, France has regularly been

the world’s most visited tourist destination.



Demessine estimated that clean-up efforts have generated more than

pounds 20 million of free publicity in the international press, but felt

a wide-ranging PR campaign was necessary to encourage tourists back to

the ’Atlantic Arc’ beaches. Tactics include renaming the region ’la

France Atlantique,’ and publicising the slogan Respirez, vous etes en

France Atlantique (Breathe, you are in Atlantic France), during a

two-year pan-European campaign.



Two-thirds of the pounds 5 million will be met by Total, whose oil the

Erika was carrying when it sank.



Edited by Gidon Freeman.



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