Nature and sustainable development

The Marseille Convention and Visitors Bureau aims to encourage, federate and support the local tourism ecosystem towards sustainable tourism. It is committed to constantly improving the quality of its welcome for visitors (both leisure and business), by providing them with a sustainable tourism offering that is increasingly available in our area. Through this approach, the Office has committed to a specific and concrete action plan, with various initiatives

Support for the Clef Verte

labelThis program, which began in early 2020 and will be rolled out until 2024, enables tourist accommodation providers to evolve along 7 major Sustainable Development axes (water management, awareness-raising, responsible purchasing, etc.). Marseille is proud to play a leading role in this project, as it is the French city
that, in percentage terms, boasts the most Green Key-labeled accommodation, thanks in particular to the Accor group’s decision to make Marseille the pilot city for the labeling of 18 hotels in the metropolis.


The GDS Index

As an integral part of the Tourist Office, the Convention Bureau wanted to include Marseille in the GDS Index 2021: this applies to the events sector and concerns the steps taken by all the socio-professional players in a destination. At the ICCA congress at the end of October 2021,
Marseille achieved a score of 51%, a very respectable score for a first year and given the health situation. The Board is working with its entire ecosystem to improve its score for a future selection.


ISO 20121

On November 16, 2021, the Office de Tourisme et des Congrès officially obtains ISO 20121 certification! Begun in 2021, the process required an audit by Bureau Veritas Certification to ensure that internal procedures are in line with the principles of the standard the concern of all employees and at all levels. What does this standard consist of:
It integrates the principles of sustainable development in its entirety (social/societal and economic). The standard aims to establish a set of procedures for identifying the key sustainable development issues that apply to the company’s activities. The main operating principles are:
– A management system approach tailored to the structure and its way of operating
– A participative approach with stakeholders: employees, suppliers, participants, public authorities, customers, partners, etc.
– Internal and external promotion of the responsible strategy
In France, until now only the Bordeaux, Nancy and Rennes Tourist Offices were ISO 20121 certified.


Sustainable Innovative Destination label

In order to step up the pace on the challenges of sustainable tourism and eco-responsible events, Marseille was awarded the “Sustainable Innovative Destination” label by Bureau Veritas on April 6, 2022, alongside 4 other pilot cities in France, with a dynamic led by France Congrès et Evénements.
Composed of 8 challenges and 26 actions, this new standard is aimed at cities and metropolises that, on a territorial scale, want to structure their action in favor of sustainable tourism, and amplify the effects of their good practices by associating, through an agreement, the players in the hospitality and service chain (venues, events, hotels…).
For Marseille and its entire industry, this label is both a tremendous opportunity and a gas pedal of transformations to conceive differently the development of events and tourism activities.
It is also a decisive argument in the choice of Marseille as a destination by our business and leisure clientele.

Highlighting sustainable catering in Marseille

In 2022, the Marseille Tourist Office, joined by the SUD region, wanted to act in favor of sustainable food by supporting Marseille restaurateurs in their transition through the Ecotable labeling support program for restaurateurs. Launched in June 2022, the program aims to provide logistical and financial support to 60 restaurateurs in the Marseilles tourist zone. The Ecotable label will enable them to showcase their commitment and approach in terms of food, sourcing, waste and resource management, as well as ethical and social aspects, while gaining access to an information and advice platform to support them through the change.

Good practice guides

More than ever, developing a virtuous sustainable circle for all socio-professionals and driving business for all is at the heart of the Tourist Office’s strategy. To achieve this, the Tourist and Convention Bureau’s Sustainable Development Department has drawn up 7 guidesEn route vers un tourisme durable for each socio-professional category in the sector: accommodation, restauration, shopping, culture and heritage, water activities, land activities, events.

These best practice guides, available from January 2022, aim to provide information on the steps and actions to be taken for companies wishing to develop their sustainable transition, presenting environmental, social and economic measures, introducing the various existing labels and certifications and shedding light on sources of funding.

Le Parc National des Calanques: comment diminuer sa fréquentation estivale

8,300 hectares and 20km of coastline, that’s the extent of the Parc National des Calanques, Europe’s first
periurban park, stretching from Marseille to La Ciotat via Cassis. Vertiginous cliffs, wild garrigue, crystal-clear waters: a marvellous experience for seasoned walkers, and a unique contact with nature. From Marseille to La Ciotat, Saint-Estève, Sormiou, Morgiou, Sugiton, En Vau, Port Pin,
Figuerolles… Names bathed in the lapping of the water, the fragrance of the sea and the warmth of the limestone rock.

Since the summer of 2020, on the strength of a resounding success, the Calanques have been subject to
increased visitor numbers during the summer months, with consequences for the park’s protected
flora and fauna. To combat this phenomenon, the PNR* was forced to restrict access to the Sugiton cove this summer. Between the beginning of July and the end of August 2022, a compulsory reservation system was set up for access to the calanque (the most visited cove), with a limit of 400 people per day.
The results of this operation were positive, with 2 observations: an immediate halt to the degradation of the site, and a high level of acceptance by the public, who were very understanding once the restrictions were explained. The scheme will be repeated in 2023 and 2024.