Economy and tourism in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region

A quick guide to the many assets of France's largest region, whose economy is positively booming.

Natural beauty in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region offers a host of natural gems that make for fantastic tourism opportunities throughout the year.

Pilat Dune
  • ​​​​​​With its 720 km of coastline and 2,000 hours of annual sunshine, seaside tourism is a balmy blessing for the region's economy. The islands in the Charente archipelago (Ile de Ré, Ile d'Oléron and Ile d'Aix) and the Gironde, Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques beaches attract tourists from around the world. 
  • The Dune du Pilat near Arcachon single-handedly attracts nearly 1.4 million visitors every year. Water sports, and surfing in particular, bring in tourists in their droves: the surf in the Basque country and in the Landes and Médoc regions are attracting more and more visitors, particularly during international competitions which give a real boost to the local tourist economy.
  • In the southern part of the region, the Pyrenees welcome mountain lovers to resorts all year round.
  • Northern Spain and its major tourist destinations (Hondarribia, Irun, etc.) are easily accessible from Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

All of these destinations are quick and easy to get to from Bordeaux Airport.

Bordeaux's exceptional heritage

Chateau La rivière de Fronsac
  • Humans have always managed to extract the very best from their regions, and the Bordeaux vineyards are a dazzling example of this. Its unparalleled, world-renowned vintages make Nouvelle-Aquitaine the top wine-making region in France and the world. Every year, over four million tourists flock to the region to sample these unique wines: proof if ever was needed that they represent a major economic boon for the region.
  • The Vinexpo wine fair takes place in Bordeaux every two years, and single-handedly attracts around 50,000 visitors for a week in June. Again in Bordeaux, the Cité du Vin and its 450,000 annual visitors is a major tourism hub. 
  • The region's international reputation as a temple of all things wine-related almost overshadows the depth and diversity of its surrounding heritage and expertise. The region is also home to cognac, Armagnac, and a host of delicious Dordogne specialities, such as its world-renowned truffles (known as the 'black diamonds of Périgord') and foie gras. It has a truly fantastic range of economic opportunities for tourism professionals.

Increasingly attractive cities

In a bid to attract both business visitors and tourists alike, Nouvelle-Aquitaine's towns and cities have been equipped with modern infrastructures.

    Water mirror in Bordeaux
    • The city of Bordeaux has never been more popular: it ranks just behind Paris as France's second most popular city for business events and film locations. 
    • Major regional cities and towns such as Biarritz, Limoges, La Rochelle, Sarlat and Périgueux are increasingly diversifying their clientele to ensure more regular turnover that is less dependent on the peak summer season by organising seminars and conventions that bring in visitors from across France.
    • Nouvelle-Aquitaine is an attractive region for investors: over 47,000 new companies are set up every year on average, €23bn of exports were recorded in 2017 and 11 competitiveness clusters are in place. As a result, Nouvelle-Aquitaine boasts the third highest GDP of all French regions.

    A flourishing industrial sector

    Various industries already have a firm foothold in the Bordeaux area and across the wider region.

    • Over 10% of jobs in Nouvelle-Aquitaine are linked to the industrial sector
    • The aeronautics, aerospace and defence sectors account for 70,000 jobs in 900 different companies. The 'giants' in this sector include Safran, Dassault Aviation and Stelia Aerospace, all of which have significant presence across the region.
    • With nearly 50,000 employees in the sector, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is France's fourth biggest digital region
    • The town of Niort in the Deux-Sèvres area is known as 'the insurance capital '. Lots of different types of insurance companies have their head offices here. 

    Sources :

    The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region at a glance

    Great theatre in Bordeaux
    • 27 million tourists every year.
    • Futuroscope: 1.6 million visitors per year.
    • Saint-Émilion old town: 1 million visitors per year.
    • France's third biggest economic region (GDP: €158bn).
    • 11 competitiveness clusters.
    • 47,000 new start-ups every year.

    Source : 2016 figures