Regional capital: Clermont-Ferrand (142 402 inhab.)
Population: 1 341 thous. people
Area: 26 013 km²
Characteristics of region: mountainous (and the highest peak is Puy de Sancy 1 885 (m.a.s.l.)
The region, divided into 1,310 municipalities, counts twenty-seven urban units. Most municipalities in the region (91%) have less than 2,000 inhabitants. The average population of the municipalities in the Auvergne is 1,053 inhabitants. Cultivated land in the Auvergne occupies 1,496,867 ha or 57.2% of the territory (against 49% nationally). Finally, the rate of forestry in the region is identical to the national level (28%).
Rich particularly with an unusual volcanic heritage, emblem of the region, the Auvergne is a green tourist resort, surrounded by nature, which also offers well-being and relaxation to its visitors, especially through its 10 spas. The most frequented tourist sites are natural sites like the Puy Mary or the Puy-de-Dôme, but also the theme parks, most prominently ranking the PAL, zoo and amusement park, and Vulcania – a theme park dedicated to volcanoes. Built heritage, which particularly counts a few treasures of Romanesque art, is also very popular with visitors. Finally, the Auvergne is also a winter destination, through its ski resorts (Super Lioran, Super Besse, Le Mont Dore, etc.) and Nordic skiing.
Activities and objectives of the structure
The Regional Tourist Board was established in 1942 and then became the Regional Tourism Development Board of Auvergne (RTDBA) in 2005. The RTDBA is an association of elected officials, representatives of local tourist boards, consular sectors, private operators and regional groupings. The RTDBA provides the interface between public and private actors. Its missions are to encourage the development of the tourism economy of the region and promote the Auvergne on French and foreign markets.
Tourism development and observation
The mission of the RTDBA in this field is to promote and support the development of tourism products (accommodation, activity providers, websites, etc.) in the region and to collect statistical data necessary for the observation of the tourist economy. The Development, Statistics and Innovation department, responsible for these actions, establishes the multi-year tourism development strategies by market and by sectors on behalf of the regional authority (Regional Council of Auvergne), and encourages innovation in this key sector of the regional economy, particularly through prospective studies.
Communication and marketing
Promoting the Auvergne resort is the primary mission of the RTDBA. Many actions are conducted aimed at French and foreign markets, the general public and professionals (travel agents, tour operators, etc.). These various actions include, among others, the launch of a multilingual website, publication of brochures, tourist maps and participation in trade fairs.