Paris La Défense labelled international tourist zone

Paris La Défense labelled international tourist zone

Last September, Paris La Défense was listed among France’s 19 international tourist zones. This label rewards the strategy implemented by Europe’s largest business district for several years now, to diversify both activities and resources so that Paris La Défense is no longer considered as a “offices only”  CBD.

Paris La Défense’s will is to turn the CBD into a sustainable tourist and leisure destination

© Oxygen / Paris La Défense

Hotels, housing, entertainment and sports venues, coworking spaces, food court… Paris La Défense has changed significantly over the past five years. This shift in perception comes as a result of actions taken by Paris La Défense, the public body managing Europe’s first business district, to ensure that La Défense remains lively at all time and not only during office hours. The very future of the district is at stake, as its initial economic model, based mostly on the sale of rights to build, has reached its limits.

Established by the so-called “Macron” law in 2015, International Tourist Zones allow shops to open in the evening and on Sundays “in areas that attract a large number of foreign tourists”. France has 19 of them, including Paris La Défense since the decree of 25 September 2019, which classifies the area within the limit of the circular boulevard as

For the sake of attractiveness

“This label is a true acknowledgement by the government of the transformations under way in Paris La Défense and an important step in our will to make this CBD a sustainable tourist and leisure destination” said Marie-Célie Guillaume, CEO of Paris La Défense.

This label will make La Défense district lively outside working hours by allowing commercial facilities to open later in the evening during the week and without restriction during weekends. From an attractiveness perspective, the classification is expected to “attract investors” with real estate projects but also events.

“Paris La Défense is becoming a destination on its own and part of the tourist itinerary within Paris Region” said Patrick Devedjian, Chairman of Paris La Défense. “From a district dedicated to work, it is shifting to a real place for living and leisure.”

Originally published in Le Journal du Grand Paris (read French version here).