Tourism in Aveyron: Aubrac is afraid of being overloaded

In 2020, with Covid, the film has become particularly compelling. As a result, tourism service providers were unable to greet visitors appropriately. The situation has left its mark and at the beginning of the summer there was a lot of concern about a similar situation.

Un tidal waves. However, during the summer of 2020, as well as last year, to a lesser extent, Aubrac took advantage of the fear of tourists to go to very crowded places, because of Covid, to attract more visitors. . More than usual. And if visitor numbers are difficult to quantify because of the vast and open plateau, this mass attendance hasn’t really satisfied everyone in North Aveyron. “We park staff, we don’t necessarily realize it, acknowledges Mylène Gras, in charge of sustainable tourism and outdoor activities in Aubrac PNR. But the best people talking about it are the service providers (host, restaurant owner, tour guide, instructor… Editor’s note). By the end of the summer of 2020, everyone agreed that Aubrac was too busy. “ With particular concerns raised about the main attractions: the lakes, the Déroc waterfall (in the Nasbinals) and certain hiking trails. “In addition to places that are already overcrowded, motels and restaurants are also overcrowded, unable to meet all demand.Mylène Gras continued. This has created a lot of dissatisfaction on the part of visitors to Aubrac”.

Negative reviews on the web, complaints from breeders…

Then, claiming that they were not well received, left a lot of negative comments, especially on the internet. The territory is not ready to welcome so many people, take over the project manager in the PNR. We do not have a corresponding offer for so many attendees. Everyone looks forward to welcoming visitors. For this, they need to take the time to serve them well. There, everything has to be done quickly, which is not necessarily a guarantee of a good reception.

A second problem was identified: “The route has been frequented by new travelers, who are new to our very rural, very natural territories. They don’t have the right rules and behaviour.” On the list of worries: bad reading of marked routes, worries about parking on trails, dogs not being leashed and complaints from ranchers tired of seeing people walking long distance walk “take a selfie with cows because they have horns”. These situations mainly occurred on the plateau, in Aveyron and in Lozère. In the Lot valley, tour operators will want to see tourists down a bit more.

“The helplessness of some tourists”

Therefore, to prevent a similar situation this summer, PNR has decided to launch a specific media campaign entitled “Que la montagne est belle” (read below). “It is necessary for all of us to spend a summer in good conditions. emphasizes Vincent Alazard, mayor of Laguiole, vice president of PNR, but also a farmer, is well aware of the risks to tourists when approaching cows a little too close. We want to challenge, without pointing. The results of the 2020 season show that some tourists are not used to the less-than-living mountains. We want to make them sense of respect and common sense. “ And so for the main message that, in the territory of Aubrac, it is necessary to develop tourism with “good manners, respect for nature, and would rather photograph the flora than pick it, and getting too close to the cows can be dangerous.” A little common sense is needed for Aubrac to remain a treasure that visitors love to discover.

A media campaign to warn

To get the message across to tourists, Aubrac PNR decided to continue a media campaign that was launched in the Catalan Pyrenees Park last year, facing similar difficulties. This one provides images with messages related to the great French classics. “Don’t leave me” (Jacques Brel) with the words “zero waste has a place in nature”. “Oh… I will break everything if you touch my fruit” (Daniel Balavoine) to remind you that it is better to stay away from cows. “Where is he, huh, Youki?” (Richard Gotainer), to encourage you to keep your dog on a leash or even, “Close the Djaja fence, no way Djaja” (Aya Nakamura), to remind you that you should not go into grasslands are closed. 900 posters and 5,000 stickers were provided to tourism offices, organizations and service providers, and the PNR, which has received financial support from the Region and the Department, intends to repeat the activity. move next year.

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