Paris-Bordeaux in 2hrs from 2 July 2017 – this is not only exceptional from a technical and environmental viewpoint, but also a boost for economic development as well as the image of Bordeaux and the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region
The meetings of the socioeconomic observatory set up by LISEA and the debate hosted by Sud-Ouest have demonstrated the new opportunities provided by the arrival of the high-speed line in Bordeaux.
Impacts on the economy and tourism
According to the latest analyses on the direct and indirect effects of the construction of the line between 2011 and 2013, the construction work for the high-speed line has brought turnover of 755 million euros to regional companies and provided local work for 6900 people each year.
Forecasts of the economic benefits have also given figures for the growth in tourism. Business tourism alone would increase by 20 to 30% according to Bernard Gérardin, who leads the Observatory. Congress centers and national and international events are the main beneficiaries of this.
Nicolas Martin, director of the Tourist Office, talks of a 50% increase thanks to the time gain between Paris and Bordeaux, but also the new offers proposed to tourists such as the recently opened La Cité du Vin.
The studies carried out in other regions show however that there is no direct and automatic link between high-speed lines and tourism. While high speed rail travel increases the market potential of the agglomerations serviced which are already well regarded, the effects will also partly depend on the role of local actors. Wine tourism, events organization and river tourism, for example, are also part of the offer to develop alongside the TGV service.
The territorial effects of high speed rail have been studied by the University of Bordeaux and the students doing a Vocational Master’s in Urban Planning via a survey of 140 businesses.
Bordeaux’s “catch-up” effect is often emphasized because the high-speed line ranks Bordeaux among the key French and European metro areas.
Sylvie Clin, co-founder of Betomorrow, confirms this: “The high-speed line allows us to level out the differences between Parisian and Bordeaux companies.”
While there are great expectations in terms of dynamism and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Bordeaux, the arrival of new businesses is of crucial importance for the metropolis.
Frédéric Sitterlé, Director of PressReader Europe, Middle-East and Africa, and participant in the Sud-Ouest debate, chose Bordeaux to set up his head office for his zone given the quality of life but also the arrival of the high-speed line, and explains: “Before we lived in Paris and we could come and have meetings in Bordeaux, now we’ll be able to do the opposite, more easily”.
The urban development project Bordeaux Euratlantique around the St Jean train station is further proof. Its ambition is to attract businesses whose head offices are in Paris, thanks to more efficient transport options, and to tempt young start-ups looking for a new more creative and more innovative city model.
And after 2017?
Bordeaux will not only be closer to Paris, but also to Toulouse and Bilbao thanks to the extension of the high-speed line to the south of Bordeaux.
The Minister of Transport Alain VIDALIES has just signed the Declaration of Public Utility (DUP) for the high-speed lines to Dax and Toulouse.
Toulouse will be slightly more than 3 hours from Paris, compared with at least 5hrs20 today.
The cost of the new lines is estimated at 8.3 billion euros, with commissioning expected in 2024 for Bordeaux-Toulouse and 2027 for Bordeaux-Dax.
(Source: Sud-Ouest, LISEA)