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Visitor strategy

Welcoming the public to the Calanques National Park

© C. Bellanger - Parc national des Calanques
This framework document, co-created with all the National Park's partners, sets out the main focuses to ensure thaat the Calanques area is a open and conserved natural space that offers a high quality welcome to visitors, reflecting the richness of its heritage.

 

An area that has been weakened by too many visitors

Recent studies estimate that there are now more than 3 million visitors to the National Park annually, on land and at sea. These visits are spread over almost the whole year and create overtourism on the most popular sites. Unfortunately, the strong points, which attract a growing number of visitors each year, are also the area's weakest ones. These suffer the most from too many visitors and, in order to be preserved, require responses that are commensurate with their exceptional quality but also with their great vulnerability.

This issue is thus the major question to which the territory must respond if it is to be preserved under conditions that are acceptable to all. However, it is clear that today, the National Park does not meet the quality of reception that it should and that the offer proposed does not meet the requirements imposed by the territory.

 

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Operational plans to organise visitor numbers 

The visitor strategy is therefore a project about excellence that will lead to the transition from the current, spontaneous and largely unorganised "destination Calanques" to a new "destination Calanques National Park", which will organise the sustainability of visitor numbers, both in environmental and social and economic terms.

It guides the design and implementation of the National Park's operational plans:

It also aims to influence the tourism strategies of local authorities and economic actors.

 

The 5 main actions of the visitor strategy

In practice, the visitor strategy sets out a series of principles to guide the actions of the National Park and its partners in the various areas relating to visitors (information, mediation, facilities, services, regulations) towards the creation of an area of environmental, social and economic excellence.

It is based on 5 main actions:

  • Providing strong and rapid responses to the  most symptomatic problems of the area, particularly in order to respond to clearly identified areas of suffering in connection with overtourism in the area.
  • Developing a high quality visitor service commensurate with the area, in particular through developing suitable services (transport, toilets, reception points for the public, etc.) and by working on gradually improving this reception, so as to accompany the visitor from their departure point until they reach the heart of the National Park.
  • Organising visitor reception based on the functions of the area in a pragmatic way, in particular by distinguishing quiet zones and visitor zones.
  • Managing and regulating the flow, allowing everyone to access the area in acceptable conditions, in particular by using tools to allow the level of visits to be managed and by organising sports practices in a comprehensive and coherent manner.
  • Co-creating the "Calanques National Park" welcome, in particular by sharing the territory's challenges and the measures to be implemented with institutional and economic players.