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Fédération nationale des offices de tourisme et syndicats d'initiative (France)


Last modified: 2022-06-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: office de tourisme | syndicat d'initiative |
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Flag of FNOTSI, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

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Presentation of FNOTSI

In France, tourist information is managed at the local (municipality or group of municipalities) level by two kinds of bodies, the offices de tourisme (O.T.) and the syndicats d'initiative (S. I.).

The first office de tourisme was set up in 1905 in the Alpine village of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Today, the offices de tourisme are official bodies regulated by Articles L133-1 - L133-19 and L134-1 - L 134-6 of the Code du tourisme (full text) - a group of legal texts and regulations, whose compilation was decided in 2000 and completed by Decree of 6 September 2006. Every municipality, or group of municipalities (which is often the case in rural areas) is entitled to found an office de tourisme; the respective Municipal Council(s) shall decide of the legal status and mode of organization of the office de tourisme, whose main purposes are the tourists' information and local tourist promotion, in coordination with the Departmental and Regional Tourism Committees. The offices de tourisme are more and more involved in the organization of local events and the sale of tourist products and services.
In 2010, there were 2,494 offices de tourisme, grouped in four categories according to the services they provide (*, 1,084; **, 951; ***, 319; ****, 65).

The syndicats d'initiative are private, non-profit organizations; accordingly, they have no official status and are not listed in the Code du tourisme. Every municipality (or group of municipalities) officially recognized as a station touristique (tourist resort; Articles L133-13 - L133-16 and L134-3 - L134-4 of the Code du tourisme) is entitled to found a syndicat d'initiative, whose purposes are quite similar to those of the offices de tourisme, but with a less pronounced commercial aim. Originally, the syndicats d'initiative were in charge of the management of the events of tourist season.
The offices de tourisme and syndicats d'initiative are grouped in an officially recognized, umbrella organization, the Fédération nationale des offices de tourisme et syndicats d'initiative (FNOTSI; website).

Ivan Sache, 2 November 2010

Flag of FNOTSI

The FNOTSI grants to its members the right to use the well-known "i-logo", which is sometimes placed on a white flag hoisted in front of the tourist information center (photo; photo). On some flags (photo, photo), the words "Office de tourisme" are added beneath the emblem.
The "i-logo", last amended in 2104, is made of a blue square diamond charged with a red, cursive letter "i", whose left and lower sides are outlined in white and whose right side it outlined in yellow. The letter "i" stands here for "information".

Ivan Sache & Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

Former flag of FNOTSI


Former flag of FNOTSI - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

The former flag of FNOTSI (photo) was white with the federation's former logo.

Ivan Sache, 2 November 2010