Gwendal Simon* - Université Paris Est
Laurie Lepan* - Université Angers UFR ITBS
Paris is a worldwide known tourist place, deeply seated in the common imaginary. More than 28 million tourists visit Paris (OTCP, 2012), tourism in Paris is an ancient and firmed activity. Stage of the Grand Tour, hosting city of five universal expositions, an urban set-up signed by Haussmann, the city is historically built around a central space, based on a strong urban symbolism, but geographically limited. As regards attractiveness of European cities, the role of the old centre has been crucial in Paris. Nonetheless, cities became multi-target destinations. The old centre and monuments are no longer the only tourist attractions and many cities develop peripheral tourist sites. Their development has occurred in some cases in parallel with the urbanisation process affecting the city they are located in. Is tourist attractiveness in Paris developed at the metropolitan scale due to a geographical sprawl and a polycentric organization? Does the tourist metropolis simply consist of multiple tourist sites? The analysis of tourist spaces and behaviours shows that tourist development is still strongly drived by city' core. Sites like Disneyland Resort Paris, Versailles and areas around airports (Roissy in the north and Orly in the south of Paris) can be studied from a touristic approach. However, in terms of tourist offer (location of hotels, tourist paths) and practices, the centre still structures the tourist geography, thus making the thesis of a tourist metropolis weaker.