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France: Tourism associations and labels

Last modified: 2022-06-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: label |
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Famille Plus


Flag of Famille Plus - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 4 February 2021

Famille Plus (website) is a label created by the Association Nationale des Élus des Territoires Touristiques, the Association Nationale des Maires des Stations de Montagne, and the Fédération Française des Stations Vertes de Vacances et des villages de Neige. Famille Plus is recognized by the French Ministry of Tourism. A little over a hundred tourist sites have been awarded the label.
Labeled sites shall implement means specifically aimed at families, in "reception information and animation in the municipality, activities, environment and heritage discovery and awareness raising, accommodation, catering and shops and services, equipment, transport and security, prices adapted to families and / or children".

The flag of Famille Plus (photo, photo) is white with the label's logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 4 February 2021

Les Plus Beaux Détours de France


Flag of Les Plus Beaux Détours de France - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2021

Les Plus Beaux Détours de France (website) was created at the end of 1998, at the initiative of Jean-Jacques Descamps, former Secretary of State for Tourism in the Jacques Chirac government (1986-1988), and Mayor of Loches from 1995 to 2014.
The association was created to showcase towns with significant tourist and cultural potential, but poorly exploited because of their distance from the usual main roads, hence the name “Détours”. With only 25 members when it was created, then 32 the following year, the association had 107 members as of 31 December 2020.
Member municipalities often use a white flag wth the association's logo (photo, photo, photo, photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2021

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France


Flag of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 16 June 2022

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (France's Most Beautiful Villages) is an independent association aiming at the promotion of the tourist offer of small rural villages with a rich cultural heritage. As of September 2021, the association has 164 member villages. PBVF was officially established on 6 March 1982 in Salers (Cantal) by Charles Ceyrac, Mayor of Collonges-la-Rouge (Corrèze) from 1965 to his death in 1998. The association is headquartered in Collonges-la-Rouge.
Membership requires meeting a number of criteria and offers a strategy for development and promotion to tourists. The three initial selection criteria are the rural nature of the village (less than 2,000 inhabitants), the presence of at least two heritage sites registered at the national level, and local support obtained by a vote of the Municipal Council. The Mayor must sign the association's Quality Charter. If the village fails to meet the requirements of the charter it may be excluded from the association.

The flag of PBVF (photo, photo, photo) is white with the association's logo.
The current logo of PBVF was unveiled in March 2012 during the celebration of the 30 years of the association. By a mere coincidence, the logo was designed by the Ceyrac-Lagabrielle agency, whose co-founder is a grand-nephew of the founder of PBVF.
The silhouette of the village kept the bell tower as the straightforward symbol of French villages. The flowers were removed, for the sake of differentiation from the logo of Villes et Villages Fleuris, while trees were added. The hexagon representing France was filled up and the colors were toned down. The typography was also modernized and simplified.
[TourMag, 3 April 2012; La Graphéine, 24 May 2012]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 16 June 2022

France Station Nautique


Flag of FSN - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2021

France Station Nautique (website, FSN) is an unofficial French tourism label awarded by the association of the same name to tourist resorts offering animation and development of nautical activities for sporting purposes and tourism. The status of active member of the association and the France Station Nautique label are acquired simultaneously and jointly, in accordance with the Statutes.
Members of France Station Nautique use a blue banner with the association's logo, the name of the place, and the number of awarded stars (1 to 4) (photo, photo, photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 27 February 2021

Station Classée de tourisme


Flag of Station Classée de tourisme - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

The flag of Station Classée de tourisme (photo, photo, photo), a label officially granted to 433 French municipalities, is white with the label's logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

Station Verte

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of Station Verte, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 26 February 2021

The Fédération française des stations vertes de vacances et des villages de neige, created in 1964 as Association française des stations vertes de vacances, awards the Station Verte (Green Station) and Station Neige (Snow Station) labels, two trademarks registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property.
Eligible municipalities shall have less than 10,000 inhabitants, permanent and organized leisure offer, a tourist office, at least 200 beds in various accommodation, services and shops, games, well-kept and flowery spaces, leisure facilities (swimming, games, sports, hiking and snowshoeing trails, downhill, cross-country, hiking and sledging trails), and discovery areas (nature, visits, products to taste...).
The first Station Verte was Sablé-sur-Sarthe; there are now about 500 municipalities with the label “Station verte”.

Labeled villages often fly a white flag with the label's logo (photo, photo), which was adopted in 2006. The former flag was green with the label's former logo (photo, photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 26 February 2021

Villages Étapes

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of Villages Étapes, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 6 March 2021

The Village Étapes label is awarded by the French Ministry of Ecology to municipalities of less than 5,000 inhabitants that meet the following criteria.
- A good situation, no more than 5 minutes or 5 kilometers from a national road or free motorway. Labeled villages are signaled on those roads.
- A real offer of services: Traditional restaurants with a sufficient number of tables, quality hotel accommodation complemented by bed and brekfast and/or a camping. Shops such as bakery, grocery store, butcher, press but also a pharmacy, a garage, an ATM.
- Quality public facilities: Access to shady parking spaces, as well as equipped toilets for disabled people. A camping car, picnic and play area.
- Sustainable commitments: The commitments of the municipalities in terms of both sustainable development and provision of access for disabled persons are also taken into account. Similarly, the village must be active in embellishing its living environment in terms of flowering and landscaping.
- Offers of discovery: A tourist information point. Hiking trails and/or historical monuments.

In 1992, local actors in the Haute-Vienne department met to support the municipalities bypassed by the A20 motorway and campaigned to obtain motorway signage highlighting services offerred in the diverted villages. The next year, the Departmental Directorate of Equipment, the Haute-Vienne Chamber of Commerce and the General Directorate of Roads of the Ministry of Equipment lay the foundations for the quality charter enabling the label to be obtained. In the afteramth of an experiment organized in 1995 with the villages of Bessines-sur-Gartempe and Magnac-Bourg, the Fédération Nationale des Villages-étapes (FNVE), headquartered in Limoges, was created in 2002. In 2020, 68 municipalities are labeled.

The flag of the label is white with the logo adopted in 2014 and the word "Bienvenue" (Welcome) (, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo). The former flag of the label was white with the label's former logo, whic featured mascot Hedgehog Philémon (photo, photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 6 March 2021

Villes et Villages Fleuris


Flag of Villes et Villages Fleuris< - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 23 May 2020

The VVF label is managed by the Conseil National des Villes et Villages Fleuris (CNVVF). The municipalities aspiring to the VVF label shall register with the Departmental Council. The first three levels of the label (1, 2 or 3 flowers) are awarded bt the Regional Councils after reviewing of the applications by departmental and/or regional jurys. The top level (4 flowers) is awarded by the CNVVF.
Originally, emphasis was put on the aesthetics of green spaces and floral displays. Nowadays, it focuses more on general planning and how it improves the lives of local residents and the experience of visitors through sustainable policies.

The flag of VVF is white with the label's logo (photo, photo).
The logo was modernized in 2018, when celebrating the 60th birthday of VVF. The traditional red flower with five heart-shaped petals, featured on yellow road signs at the entrance of awarded municipalities, was replaced by a rose, with heart-shaped petals in two shades of red and two green leaves.

The main text ("Villes et Villages Fleuris") is in Wigrim Bold font; the secondary text ("La label national de la qualité de vie") is in GT Walsheim Bold font.
Color specifications are given as (Graphic Charter, 2018):

              Hex         CMYK         RGB       Pantone
Red         #FB1B2D    0 90 68 0    251  27 45    1787 C
Green       #1A572E   88 30 84 10   26   87 46    2258 C
Light red   #FA3F47    0 76 55 0    250  63 71    2346 C
Yellow      #FFD92D    0 15 81 0    255 217 45     123 C

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 12 June 2022