Travellers are always searching for exotic locations that offer stunning natural resources, cross-border travel and eco-tourism. Rural areas in France offer many environmental amenities and has become more attractive especially for agri-tourism. Millions of tourists from all parts of the world visit France annually and it is the most popular tourist destination in the world (Books LLC 2010). At the same time, France keeps public funding for tourism at a relatively low level. Tourism is the largest industry in the world and generates crucial businesses for other service industries such as the hotel industry, entertainment facilities, restaurants, sport and recreational facilities and travel services.
A new form of tourism where tourists want a customised itinerary is emerging. These package tours are shorter and more frequent but less expensive compared to the traditional tourism (Poon 1993). The average trip for package tour takes 4 nights instead of the traditional 9 nights. The introduction and improvement of digital communication and ICT, which has enabled clients make choices that are more informed, has made this possible.
The French government exercises its sovereign authority and outlines the framework of operation in relation to national peace, the rule of law, food security, health security and reliable public services. This structure is crucial for development of tourism. France guarantees the legislative and regulatory structures for all activities, including tourism. Successive governments have continued to fund bodies that exist to support tourism at the local and the international level.
Administration of tourism in France has been rationalised to meet all stakeholders’ needs. Through the central government, regions, departments and communes, the French authorities support tourism development. By increasing resources for territorial tourism improvement and promotion of France as the preferred tourist destination, the central government and territorial authorities have seen the number of tourists increasing annually (Todd, 2008). Territorial authorities play a crucial role in formulation of policy and development of tourism. The national tourism administration supports regional tourism through guidance, regulation and coordination of tourism policies and ensures they are consistent. The French Agency for Tourism Engineering (AFIT) ensures development objectives between territorial authorities, private actors and the central government complement each other and are in line with the national strategic objectives. The administrative classification for accommodation in the form of hotels, tourist resorts, holiday rentals, campsites and tourist offices has a number of implications, notably with regard to complementary funding and dates back to 1919 (Books LLC 2010). A rated commune has certain additional privileges in addition to the normal privileges received by other communes. The central government and the territorial governments share Institutional responsibilities in managing tourism. The territorial governments are responsible for planning and implementing the medium-term objectives for tourism development. Tourism is a service activity and requires a large workforce, which is a blessing during the current slow