Blue Flag French marina encourages sustainable and green modes of transport

In the south of France, Gruissan marina initiated a range of services for the tourists who want to discover the town and the hinterland in a sustainable way. A successful project initiated five years ago in the municipality.

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Gruissan marina received the Blue Flag award each year since 1988 and began to provide holiday-makers with sustainable modes of transport five years ago, thanks to its Odyssea Protect Eco-station. This station is a zero CO2 emission park where electric cars, ordinary and electric bikes and bus shuttles are available for the tourists. This initiative is incorporated within the framework of Odyssea - the European Network of Cities and Ports Territories – whose objective is the deployment of a new theme of tourism in Europe: “Blue Tourism”.

This service is an answer to new demands in Tourism”, Jean-Claude MERIC, General Manager of the resort, says. Nowadays, tourists express their desire to “live an experience” during their stay. According to him, “eco-friendly transportation has gone beyond its functional dimension to become part of an innovative and appealing touristic experience.”
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An interactive and cultural “Land and Sea” itinerary has been created to encourage tourists to tour the highlights of the territory from the port of Gruissan to the hinterland. This itinerary encourages sustainable and green modes of transport while introducing the help of either a professional tour guide or the use of multimedia innovation. Holiday-makers can, for example, be guided by several numerical tools featuring a pre-recorded cultural itinerary at their disposal: a spoken documentary starts each time they reach a point of interest and tells them the history of the places driven through.

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Gruissan’s preserved natural environment attracts a lot of holiday-makers each summer. Its zero CO2 emissions park is an inspiring initiative contributing to the preservation of the coasts. It also illustrates how marinas are playing a key role in the economy of a destination and its tourism, such as in raising awareness of the tourists among environmental issues.