Who are we?

What is industrial tourism?


The industrial tourism sector includes companies offering industrial, commercial, artisan, farming or service activities and research laboratories which welcome the public to visit their premises.


Who are we?


In 2012, at the initiative ofADEVE, public authorities and company networks founded the Association de la Visite d’Entreprise (AVE). Its aim is to promote and communicate on industrial tourism.  Its flagship initiative is the creation of the first industrial tourism website: www.entrepriseetdecouverte.fr (E&D.fr).

E&D.fr was inaugurated on 13th December 2012 by Sylvia PINEL, the Minister for Crafts, Trade and Tourism. Other actions will follow: the organisation of trophies, workshops, etc.


The Association de la Visite d’Entreprise has been chaired since 2015 by Luc FAUCHOIS, a specialist in industrial tourism in France and founder of the flagship initiative “Et Voilà le Travail” in Seine-Saint-Denis.

The Association is supported by public stakeholders: (DGE), BPI France.

The Association includes partners, associated experts and members :

  • The Collège de Partenaires is limited and includes companies and professional organisations involved in industrial tourism: EDF, L’Occitane, Terre de Sel, la Confiserie du Roy René, Savonnerie Marius Fabre, Fragonard, Perrin Chaussettes, Giffard, ANDRA, Intermarché, l’Association Nationales des Industries Alimentaires (ANIA)
  • The Scientific Committee  is composed of experts on the subject : Florence Hachez-Leroy, university lecturer at the Universite of Lille Nord de France (Artois), Jean-René Morice, university lecturer in geography at the ESTHUA (Angers University School of Tourism and Hotel Management), Luc Fauchois, the man behind the flagship initiative “Et voilà le travail” in Seine-Saint-Denis.
  • The Members are  (since 2014): all the companies open to (whatever category of visitors welcomed) included in the E&D.fr website; the regional stakeholders in industrial tourism. They will benefit from all the communication initiatives proposed by the Association.


The Association de la Visite d’Entreprise focuses on 3 main themes: 

  • Communication concerning the Industrial Tourism sector :

    – The  www.entrepriseetdecouverte.fr website and internet communication.

    – Professional and general public trade fairs. In particular, the Association is a partner of MIF Expo, the  trade fair for products Made in France, which is held  every year in November at the Porte de Versailles exhibition hall in Paris.

    – A guide for the general public. The Association is currently preparing the first  Guide du Routard de la Visite d’Entreprise (industrial tourism guide) in partnership with Les Editions Hachette, publication of which is scheduled for October 2016.

  • The constitution of the first network of industrial tourism professionals:

    – Organisation of the first national meeting of the members of the Association de la Visite d’Entreprise (October 2016)

    – Lobbying with the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Skills ( Ministry for Foreign Affairs), with a  strong position of the companies in the E&D network

    – The creation of a European Industrial Tourism Association, in which the AVE represents France

  • An Observatory role:


    – Studies of the annual  visitor numbers in companies (the  Top 10 of Industrial Tourism) 

    – A qualitative study of returns on investment for companies open to the public

    – A diary of all the events in the sector in France


The Association de la Visite d’Entreprise is led by an operational team at your service>

  • Cécile PIERRE, general delegate, specialising in industrial tourism  
  • Marie CARIO, communications officer
  • Mathilde BENEDETTO, project manager 
  • Marianne DÉTRANCHANT, project manager




What does the www.entrepriseetdecouverte.fr website have to offer you? 

E&D.fr is the website showcasing company tours and industrial tourism in France.

On the E&D.fr website you will find all the company tours on offer in France: in the form of a detailed presentation for companies who pay a  fee and a briefer presentation for the others.

All the companies who appear on the site are involved in industrial tourism on an individual basis. Companies who welcome tourists for one-off visits as part of regional actions (such as Open Days) or sectoral events (supported by a business sector) do not appear on the portal. There are a great number of these events in France (over fifty regional Open Days and 6 sectoral operations) and they are widely reported under the heading News.

The website allows you to search by region/department, business sector, key word, company name, etc…. You also have access to a selection of companies under the heading « Companies that are the most… » (a  selection of the companies that are the most unusual, monumental, delicious, sensory, etc.).




E&D.fr allows  you to share your experience and thus become a real ambassador for industrial tourism in France.

Groups can also request  customised tours . Based on your needs, we will send you a quote and a detailed proposal.


Why do companiesopen their doors to you?


As a way of promoting their image: companies invite the public to see how they operate directly on-site …

  • The quality of its production: know-how, time spent on each item, quality of the raw materials, etc. The company shows off its unique skills and its competitive advantages
  • Its efforts in terms of sustainable development: tours give the company the opportunity to present its approach to social and environmental responsibility. Safety, product traceability, management of the impacts of its business (waste, noise, etc.), working conditions of the employees, etc. : the company showcases its responsible approaches
  • Production Made in France: SME offering excellence and large, famous companies open their doors to show visitors the specific features of French products and the driving forces of their competitivity, in particular the share of R&D and their foothold in history (many of the companies on the portal are over one hundred years old)…



EDF has made industrial tourism a strategic tool to promote its image. The company welcomes 420,000 visitors to over 60 sites (including 44 discovery centres).

The aim is clear: explain and demonstrate on-site the technological qualities of the sites and the safety and security measures in place.

An effective communication tool: sell under the best conditions

  • To sell more : visitors are fully prepared to make purchases in the shop at the end of a pleasant company tour (demonstration of the quality of the products, strong emotional dimension, take away a souvenir of the tour, etc.)
  • Often under preferential conditions: Direct sale. However, the company is not in direct competition with its distributors: the service offered is a tour and the sale area. The purpose of the tour is to increase sales overall the points of sale
  • In the long term:  industrial tourism is a wonderful tool for gaining customer loyalty. Visitors become “brand ambassadors”

Fragonard makes almost all its turnover through industrial tourism. The company welcomes  1 million visitors to its 3 production sites. Every person who makes a purchase is a visitor.

Promote the sectors and trades of the future particularly to young people

Industrial tourism also includes school parties (from secondary school through to universities). E&D.fr therefore satisfies a major concern of the French economy: attract young people and give them the keys to finding the right career.



This is an important issue for the food sector. L’ANIA (the French Association for Food Industries) takes every opportunity to remind the public, particularly during visits, that this sector is the main French industrial employer with 500,000 jobs, and that it has to fill 30,000 job vacancies every year.


In 2012, ADEVE (the agency for the development of industrial tourism) brought out the first guide to industrial tourism :

“La visite d’entreprises : ouvrir ses portes au public pour mieux valoriser son entreprise” (“Industrial tourism: open your doors to the public to better showcase your company”) 

(Edition Atout France) intended for company managers.

Contact us to order your copy.

Why visit a company?  

  • Discover and understand 

Plunged into a complex, segmented economic universe, the consumer is often lost and sometimes distrustful (origin of the products, quality control, etc.). The company satisfies a natural curiosity in a universe with a reputation for being closed and mysterious. Today’s hyper-connected and overinformed visitors want to understand “how it works », form their own judgment and see for themselves how companies operate.

Above and beyond this aspect, companies allow us to discover the heritage of our reasons in just the same way as castles, churches and museums. Industrial tourism enriches what France has to offer in terms of culture.

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  • Experience an exceptional moment

Visitors get right into the heart of the company in an area which is not initially designed for hosting guests but for production. The result is that each tour is unique and can be the opportunity to talk to the employees.

T Throughout the tour, visitors will find their 5 senses stimulated : sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing.

Tours are the chance to share something with the company: success stories, family successes and innovations which enable visitors to experience a special relationship with the company during their visit.

  •  Consume differently

At the end of tours, visitors are often guided to a sale area where they expect a specific service. Now they are intimately acquainted with the product, since they have just seen it made, they can legitimately expect personalized advice about each product. 


Industrial tourism in figures

The number of companies open to the public : 5,000 in total

  • 2,500 companies individually
  • 2,500 companies as part of collective operations

 The number of visitors

  • 13 million visitors over the 2,500 companies open on an individual basis

The 5 regions with the most industrial tourism>

Alsace, Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur.

The  5 sectors with the highest involvement


  • Food, wines and spirits: 60%
  • Trades and crafts:               18%
  • Environment and energy:       10%
  • Fashion and cosmetics:               7%
  • Technological industries:        5%

The types of company involved: mainly very small and small to medium companies

  • very small and small to medium companies: 86%
  • middle-market companies/large companies:     14%

The age of companies: almost half the companies are over 50 yaers old!

 Source: figures taken from data collected when compiling the database.