WHY CHOOSE OCCITANIA?
10 good reasons
We host dozens of conferences, seminars, events and team building activities as well as general assemblies and social gatherings every day in Toulouse, Montpellier, Albi, Nîmes and Perpignan because Occitania is… connected, professional, welcoming and so much more!
Occitania is connected
With 10 international airports, Occitania has a prime position in the South of France.
Its 2 major cities, Toulouse and Montpellier, have especially good connections for planes, trains and the French motorway network.
- By plane, Toulouse is 45 mins* from Paris (41 flights a day!) and Montpellier is 1hr* away. Direct flights from major European cities (Barcelona, Milan, London, Munich, Amsterdam etc.) take less than 2 hrs*.
- By TGV train, Paris is 3 hrs 15 mins from Montpellier and 2 hrs 50 mins from Nîmes.
- By car, Toulouse is 2.5 hrs from Bordeaux and 4 hrs from Clermont-Ferrand. Montpellier is 2 hrs 40 mins from Toulouse and 1 hr 50 mins from Marseille.
Occitania provides you with a group of region-wide business tourism professionals: they are part of the Occitania South of France Business Club whose members fulfil criteria to meet the MICE sector standards.
The Business Club is run by the Occitania Regional Tourist Board. It pools together 3-5* hotels with meeting rooms, exceptional or unique venues (castles, abbeys, wineries, manade farms etc.), conference centres, team building and event providers, incoming agencies capable of accommodating events of all sizes.
Occitania is home to a large number of conference centres: in Toulouse, Montpellier, Perpignan, Tarbes, Béziers, Rodez, Mende, Narbonne, Nîmes, Cahors, La Grande-Motte, Pont-du-Gard and Labège.
Hosting "business" clients in our region comes naturally to us with an exciting array of services, an innate sense of hospitality and roaring economic drive.
Occitania is the 4th most popular tourist region in France (with 14 billion in tourist expenditure) and number 1 in terms of accommodation capacity (with 3.3 million beds).
For us, business tourism is very important as, with 6.8 million overnight stays/year, it accounts for 42% of our hotel bookings.
The new Exhibition Centre (40,000m2) and Toulouse Conference Centre (up to 10,000 people) will open in 2020 near Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. This site designed by top architect Rem Koolhas is the 3rd biggest enclosure in France outside Paris.
Occitania is at the top
In Toulouse, Montpellier, Perpignan and Pont-Saint-Esprit you'll encounter no less than 14 business clusters including an international one (Aerospace valley) and 2 with their sights set on the world (Aqua-Valley and Mer Méditerranée) in Occitania. Their skills cover a variety of fields: aerospace, food, biotechnology and health, renewable energy and more.
The entire area is also driven by innovative SME/SMIs in every region: Lot, Aveyron, Ariège, Hérault, Gard, Pyrénées-Orientales etc.
Toulouse is the international aeronautics capital with Airbus and the European space capital.
Its CHU (University Hospital) leads the way in the best French hospitals.
The Agropolis centre in Montpellier is world-renowned as is the city's medical faculty which is also the oldest in the western world.
he most recent ranking by the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) puts Montpellier in 9th place and Toulouse in 4th in terms of French cities hosting events.
It's confident about the future
Occitania is a real business incubator with start-ups launching in their hundreds in the area. The 2 big cities of Toulouse and Montpellier are FrenchTech-approved whilst Occitania is the 1st region to receive the international Fab Region award for supporting FabLabs.
Toulouse is the European birthplace for future technologies in terms of (Hyperloop TT, driverless shuttle buses etc.). It is home to the Oncopole, a unique campus in Europe devoted to the fight against cancer. It is also the number 1 metropolis in terms of R&D investments.
Occitania is appealing
Its lifestyle, hospitality and climate make lots of people want to move to Occitania. The region's population grows by an average of 51,000 new inhabitants every year!
French people often settle in Montpellier and Toulouse which are great for living, working and studying. Occitania also appeals to international clients e.g. Japanese tour operators who have made our region their eldorado and made Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (Lot) the number 1 most beautiful village in France.
Don't forget your sunglasses! Toulouse, Montpellier, Nîmes and Perpignan are in the top 10 sunniest cities in France each with over 2100 hours of sunshine per year. Montpellier comes top with 2621 hours of sunshine per year!
The backdrops for your events are our Southern French cities, our villages with personality (45 of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France" are in Occitania), our unspoilt great outdoors (6 regional nature parks, 2 national parks), our unique French scenery (Gorges du Tarn, Camargue Gardoise, Dordogne Valley, Pyrenean peeks and cirques etc.) and our 220km coastline.
You can also choose from the 40 Top Occitania Sites: the region's best. So you can make your event fabulous, sensational and unforgettable.
You're bound to be blown away by Occitania's cultural wealth with top museums such as the Soulages Museum in Rodez, Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi and Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes.
You'll also enjoy other exciting aspects of its culture and heritage: UNESCO World Heritage sites (Canal du Midi, Carcassonne, Pont du Gard etc.), cult items (Laguiole knives, Millau gloves, Anduze vases, Denim jeans etc.), age-old expertise (pastel, Toulouse violet), contemporary architecture (Marianne and Antigone neighbourhoods in Montpellier, Occitanie Tower in Toulouse, Millau Viaduct etc).
Occitania is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Carcassonne, Pont du Gard, episcopal city of Albi, Cirque de Gavarnie, Canal du Midi, Vauban citadels, Santiago de Compostela route, Causses and Cévennes.
Occitania is imaginative too
Business tourism professionals are bursting with original ideas to make your team building event a success: 4x4 safari in the Camargue, vineyard rallies, sailing regattas, land sailing on the coast's best beaches or sea kayaking… plus caving expeditions, relaxing in the natural hot springs... and even dog sledding, mountain bike and electric bike rides, golf lessons and more.
80 Protected Designations of Origin from Armagnac and Costières de Nîmes to Roussillon wine and Cahors Malbec: Occitania is home to the biggest vineyard in the world and the world's best wine bar (N°5 Wine Bar in Toulouse)! Wine tourism is one of the region's biggest draws and several providers will introduce you to this fully-fledged, authentic and welcoming side to its personality.
And it knows how to live!
Occitania lives life to the full with over 400 festivals and major events all year round: Escale in Sète, Montpellier Danse, Rio Loco, Jazz in Marciac, Les Déferlantes in Argelès-sur-Mer, Carcassonne Festival, Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, Pont du Gard Fééries etc.
Michelin-starred chefs (over 40), local specialities (Castelnaudary cassoulet stew, Nîmes salt cod gratin etc.), premium produce (truffles, foie gras, Armagnac etc.), award-winning regional products (over 250), AOC wines including the unstoppable cote d’amour (Corbières, Roussillon, Cahors, Côtes de Gascogne etc.) all contribute to the region's appeal.
Wine tasting, vineyard tours, cookery lessons, top chef workshops, truffle hunts, wine making academies... welcome to the land of the good life!