The impact of the health crisis on group tourism has been significant: the sector is experiencing difficulties with considerable declines in clients. The Grand Est region wishes to reposition itself on this strategic segment by setting up a specific initiative: Group Tourism 2022–2024.
Signature of the agreement on October 27, 2022
On October 27, 2022, under the impetus of the Tourism Growth Club (CCT) Grand Est, a partnership agreement was signed at EMSBS. Unprecedented in France, this exclusive partnership around the corporate chair “Wine and Tourism” of EMSBS brings together actors from both the academic and business worlds: the companies of the CCT, the Grand Est Regional Tourism Agency (ART GE), and the University of Strasbourg via the Foundation of the University of Strasbourg and the University Hospitals of Strasbourg.
The signing ceremony was cochaired by Arnaud Robinet, president of ART GE, and Prof. Michel Deneken, president of the University of Strasbourg. The speeches of Dr. Babak Mehmanpazir, acting dean of EMSBS, Dr. Coralie Haller, associate professor and head of the corporate chair “Wine and Tourism,” Dr. Tony Valentini, associate professor at EMSBS, Catherine Gouttefarde, director general of the ART GE, and Veronique Brumm, director of the Lalique Museum and representative of the CCT Grand Est, outlined the contours of this cooperation.
The initiative has several aims:
- to understand the group tourism ecosystem,
- to anticipate evolutions in group tourism,
- and to produce academic knowledge based on scientific methodologies to benefit the business community.
Valuable academic contribution
Within the corporate chair “Wine and Tourism”, an interdisciplinary team with multiple skills is in charge of the project. It is composed of EMSBS professors (Coralie Haller, Tony Valentini, Nada Maaninou, Jeanne Bessouat, Yosr Ben Tahar) as well as experts in strategy and innovation (Nadia Le Landais) and in collective intelligence (Axel Neveux).
Fully mobilized alongside ART GE to develop a new form of group tourism, the team centers its research and academic productions around four different pillars:
- A systematic study of scientific literature published on the subject of group tourism with the objective of clarifying and defining what group tourism is;
- A study of group demand via a multilingual questionnaire distributed in the French, German, Swiss, Belgian, and Dutch markets to identify the motivations of group tourists and define the types of clientele;
- A study of supply by conducting 13 focus groups bringing together socio-professional and institutional tourism players in Grand Est to identify the service offers in the region;
- An impact study that measures the economic impact of group tourism on the Grand Est region.