The international maritime festivals of Brest, it is the most beautiful meeting of boats and cultures that I have ever know.
Olivier De Kersauson
Navigator, writer and columnist
For many, Brittany sparks images and memories of holidays. For good reasons, Brittany is one of the leading holiday destination outside of Paris, at the national level and ranks among the 30 most attractive regions in Europe.
The tourism industry in Brest, accounts for 6% of the annual market share of Brittany, totaling 276,000,000 € in economic benefits in 2016. Today, it provides nearly 5,000 jobs directly linked to tourism, 9% of the total workforce in Brittany. The potential for development is significant and the sector should increase even more in the years to come, thanks to the dynamism of Brest International Airport, Brittany's first airport with 1.2 million passengers per year, and the railway services that now connects Brest to Paris on an average of 3h 25 min (and even 3:13 on some lines).
The hospitality culture is real here. It is the warmth of the people, but it is also the means implemented to welcome everyone. Western Brittany has 43% of Brittany's accommodation capacity (hotels, campsites, private rental, second homes). Within this spectrum, the pays de Brest is the second provider, just after the south-Finistère. 8% of Brittany's hotel market shares are within its perimeter.
The pays de Brest mostly plays in the same field as the rest of Brittany’s main tourist centers: an extensive coastal area, preserved coasts made of granite cliffs, beaches of fine sand or pebbles, gorgeous natural landscapes, authenticity at the brink of a cliff, a unique identity...
It also knows how to express its singularity. First, that of an urban territory, with the accommodation, services and amenities that the metropolis can offer as well as conurbations such as Landerneau. In 2016, Brest had 2 of the 8 facilities in Brittany, that welcome more than 100,000 visitors a year:
Océanopolis, the ocean discovery park (up to 450,000 visitors a year) and the Récré des 3 Curés at Milizac , the first amusement park in Brittany (215,000 visitors per year). Two other facilities should be included in this very closed group in 2017: the Atelier des Capucins, enormous shipbuilding workshop converted into a place of life and culture, connected to the city center by the first urban cable car in France, as well as the Hélène et Edouard Leclerc Foundationc from Landerneau, that has been offering prestigious art exhibitions since 2012: Miró, Giacometti, Chagall, Picasso ...
In addition to these renowned leaders, the metropolis and its surroundings have extensive cultural offers: museums of course, but also Le Quartz, the first national stage of France outside Paris as well as the various musical festivals in the area, in first place Festival du Bout du Monde (60.000 admissions) in Crozon, the Fête du Bruit à Landerneau (52.000 admissions) Festival in Landerneau (52,000 admissions) and Astropolis (24.000 admissions). Not to mention local gastronomy in all its possibilities (seafood and shellfish, strawberries, Breton specialties), including the eight, starred restaurants in the Brest area.
The most emblematic event in Brest is also the one that crushes the attendance records with each edition. Brest International Maritime Festivals the latest edition of which dates back to 2016, are the largest European gathering of boats. For six days, it attracted 715,000 visitors and 990 accredited journalists who came to admire, among the world's greatest tall ships, traditional boats from around the world, 9,000 sailors, 3,000 musicians, nautical parades, fires fireworks and the grand parade between Brest and Douarnenez that gathers thousands of boats.
Next stop: July 10-16, 2020 for the 8th edition.
FOCUS : the harbor and the coast
The harbor of Brest is the privileged theater of this event, a theater or rather a stadium of 18,000 hectares where all or almost all water sports can be practiced. It opens to the Iroise Sea and the islands of Molène and Ouessant that tourists can reach by boat from Brest or Conquet. The coastline of the Brest region is of great diversity: Pointe St-Mathieu, the Crozon Peninsula, the Virgin Island, the Abers ... All these places can be discovered by hikers that follow the GR34 trail along the Brittany coast.
So many assets put forward by the network of tourist offices in the Brest region, gathered within Brest Terres Océanes. BTO (Brest Terres Océanes) covers all destinations from Crozon to the Abers and from the Pointe Saint Mathieu to Landerneau.
In addition to marine renewable energies, the growth of which will strengthen Brest's position in the industrial sector, particularly through the installation, on the Polder, of companies in this field, Brest has valuable assets in the energy sphere.
- One of these assets is the presence of an amazing seed planted here that grew to play in the big leagues. For more than 50 years, SDMO
- has been designing and distributing generator sets and power generation solutions. It is present today in four continents through its six subsidiaries and eight representative offices and can rely on a solid network of distributors in 150 countries.
- Associated with the American company, Kohler, SDMO ranks number three in the world and its sector. The company invests in research and development to innovate and offer new products such as hybrid groups, biogas groups or tailor-made solutions.
- The Kergaradec area hosts a production site of nearly 45,000 m² as well as the company's headquarters. SDMO currently employs 850 people and in 2015 generated a turnover of 440,000,000 €.
- In addition, Brest participates in the experimentation of local energy loops. Components of smart energy networks, these devices aim to integrate demand and energy production into the design of urban renewal operations. The "Brest rive droite" project is based in particular on the densification of the heating network and storage structures, the energy renovation of buildings, the installation of photovoltaic panels and the cross-use of wood, gas and solar technologies.
©Guillaume Team/Brest métropole
© Guillaume Team/Brest métropole
The automobile sector:
Several establishments in the Brest region are represented in the ID4CAR competitiveness cluster.
ID4CAR's mission is to strengthen the competitiveness of the sustainable Western vehicles and mobility sector through innovation. The cluster supports its members starting from the idea to the product all the way to its market launch. It is open to SMEs / ISE and large companies, research and training organizations in the regions of Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes.
Its members include higher education institutions, IMT Atlantique and l’ENSTA Bretagne, among others, and companies, including
- Autocruise : started as a joint venture with THALES et de TRW, has specialized in intelligent radars that are already featured in many vehicles, mainly facilitating emergency braking. They work with major manufacturers such as Volkswagen groups, PSA, Renault as well as, the American company, Bendix. Acquired in 2015 by the German group ZF, the group has invested 2,900,000 € to install a new production line, on its Plouzané site, dedicated to their fourth generation radars. The milestone of one million radars is expected after 2020 with the necessary recruitments associated with such production.
- Livbag SAS (AutoLiv) : A subsidiary of the Swedish group AutoLiv, the world leader in automotive safety products. Livbag specializes in the development and manufacturing of airbag gas generators, a market in which the company is No. 1 in Europe.