Three new international tourist zones open in France

03rd August, 2016
Three new international tourist zones have been designated across France, meaning shops in these locations will be able to open until midnight on weekdays, as well as on Sundays.

Traditionally, shops located in French towns are restricted to opening between around 9am and 7pm (closing for two hours for lunch), and do not open on Sundays. However, in a bid to boost the local economies and make tourist locations even more popular to visit, the three towns of Antibes, Dijon and La Baule have all been added to the list of International Tourist Zones. All three towns were accepted after an application from the towns’ respective mayors, a trial period and discussions with employment groups and unions.

In a recent statement, the French government said that each town matched the necessary criteria required for becoming a tourist zone, which include “attracting an influx of tourists from outside of France” and “having an international reputation due to commerce, culture, heritage, or leisure".

Dijon, located in central France, is the first non-coastal town to be awarded tourist zone status, while La Baule is a popular seaside town on the coast of the Pays de la Loire, near the Brittany border. Antibes, meanwhile, joins another four towns from the French Riviera on the list.

In total, France now has 21 tourist zones (or ZTIs, as they are known in French). Twelve of these alone are located in various parts of Paris, largely in areas with large shopping centres and train stations. Along the French Riviera, the four other locations to be designated as tourist zones are Nice, Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Other tourist zones can be found at Deauville, on the coast of Normandy, and the Val d’Europe shopping complex, east of Paris.

If you’re looking to enjoy a spot of shopping during your stay at our luxury French gites, the good news is that even more French locations than ever are opening their stores for longer.

Image: gaikokujin-kun, available under Creative Commons