6. [Oenotourisme] Interview Olivier OCCELLI, Director of Bordeaux Convention and Visitors Bureau

02/08/2021 | Uncategorised

For this new interview with Au MICRO de Bacchus, I am honored to interview Olivier OCCELLI, a dynamic and human person at the management of the Bordeaux Convention and Visitors Bureau. He tells us about his career, his job. He reminds us of the origin of the unions of the initiative before explaining the operation of a tourist office. Then, we zoom in on Wine Tourism. Finally, we end with the personal section! Good listening :-)!Welcome to the MICRO of Bacchus

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Interview with Olivier Occelli, Director of the Bordeaux Convention and Visitors Bureau


Hello everyone, I am delighted to see you on this new interview of at the MICRO of Bacchus that I set up in the spring

The idea is to highlight personalities from the world of wine, the wine world, the oenological world but not only …

also from the tourist world! And besides, today! …

I am delighted to interview
Olivier who is the director of the Bordeaux tourist office

It is a great honor and a privilege so I hope that this interview will please you and if you have other topics of discussion do not hesitate to ask us in comments I would be happy to find you quality interlocutors here!

Hello Olivier!



Thank you in any case for accepting this interview and for lending yourself to the game because the exercise is not simple

and here we are going to start with your presentation you're going to us

tell a little about your story and your journey… How you got here in Bordeaux

Well listen, my story began on the French Riviera, a department, a region of tourism and I think it's a little linked then for the rest of my career. It's true that I lived my first 20 years close to Monaco and it's true that here is this atmosphere

Tourist of the French Riviera inspired me well and I then studied in Nice in Chambéry then in London and Madrid to finish with a master's degree in Madrid in tourism marketing management

All right… Chambery!! So, are you a great skier? 🙂

Ah I like skiing, I love it
the mountain

Very well, Great… So, how long have you been living in Bordeaux?

Well, it's been two and a half years since I arrived in Bordeaux. I started my career in Paris in foreign tourist offices

in particular Cyprus which is an island that

I knew well since I worked six seven years for Cyprus and then I had the chance to go to Lyon to work on the marketing of the Tourist Office and the brand "Only Lyon" for about ten years

Can you explain to us what your role as Director of tourist office is?

What is a Tourist Office?

Your role in this on a daily basis?

Well the Bordeaux Tourist Office already has a

Quite a large team of 60 people and that's what's quite interesting is that we have extremely varied missions. I like to segment our roles a little into three major actions which is first of all to federate what we are an association with six hundred and thirty members of which you are part Thank you for that

six hundred and thirty members whether hotels, restaurants and receptive agencies are caterers finally really on the whole tourism sector in Bordeaux and we really want to federate this tourism sector with all its actors and and of course to bring them business so this is the promotional work that we do on three major segments, three main targets

leisure tourism

business tourism

and local tourism.

So here is federate promote and then welcome of course with our reception team which is just below us at the moment

to welcome its visitors who come regularly to see us and to be able to give them the best advice so that they discover the city

and the metropolis of Bordeaux

All right. The days are only 24 hours so they must be very rhythmic by all this!

Yes yes indeed we are not bored!


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Let's go back a little bit Olivier, if you will. What was the first trigger for the first Tourist Office?

Who had this crazy idea one day to invent the Tourist Office

and where was it? Was it in France at least?

So I'm not sure. I redid
my archives therefore of tourist office. Thank you for this question 😉

This allowed me to learn some things about tourist offices

then apparently at the level of Switzerland they were quite a precursor at the end of the 1800s

It was they who apparently started working on its associations, its promotional bodies.

first welcoming visitors and then it happened in Grenoble apparently so the office the FIRST tourist office: initiative unions at the time, it was called like that

was in Grenoble in 1889

ok Very good Thank you for this clarification

And today a tourist office, does it have prospects of evolution

because I imagine between 1800 something and now it has nothing to do with it!

At first I guess it was just land use planning today it's more than that and after that what will it be?

It's a good question for the future but in any case it's true that during all these years it started with as you said

the development of public space, flowering, benches to make the city more pleasant in the

villages more pleasant to visitors and therefore indeed after the Second World War the missions of unions of the initiative were transformed into a promotion mission to pick up visitors a little outside the borders

All right

Now let's talk about everything that is MICE i.e. everything that is professional tourism, business.

Today, what are these groups waiting for when they come to Bordeaux?

Already they are waiting for Bordeaux

They are waiting for Bordeaux. But what are they looking for first?

Bordeaux! wine! wine!

It's true that we always tend to think that business tourism needs its meeting room, its chairs, its video projector that is sure that it needs it.

Finally, it is necessary that the welcome is really irreproachable that they are taken in hand, that the organizer is taken in hand from a to z and ca to all the private partners so members of the office know how to do very well.

Whether it is a caterer, an event space, congresses, exhibitions Bordeaux is really their core business so that is the basis of being well received but then we see it when we do when we apply to win congresses and seminars of major company conventions, it is Bordeaux that we put forward of course it is the experience of the art of living in

the French bordeaux with the wine with the vines with the ocean with the heritage 18th finally here is what is put forward and it is this conjunction that makes Bordeaux win so the destination plus the reception areas plus the transport also the accesses are very important whether it is air and in the city to move the tramway is a real asset of Bordeaux

ok so there I bounce on so the vineyard and wine part so suddenly the wine tourism

Does wine tourism represent half of Bordeaux's tourism or finally less than that because it is too big the wine and the vine do not take enough place finally not enough: not all this place there?

What about wine tourism in Bordeaux?

This holds a large part since on leisure tourism, there are 30% between 30 and 40% our visitors who come to Bordeaux and who want a wine tourism experience

which is huge on a destination. Normally there is the cultural aspect that there is always first of course of discovery of the city, museums, monuments, water mirror for example it is a best seller of course then there is also shopping that often comes there and it is yes we have the largest of the shopping street in Bordeaux

And it is quite rare to have an activity that intervenes so strongly in this top of themes and good in Bordeaux it is the first wine tourism destination in the world.

There are some studies that have come out in terms of visitors it is really a leading destination in the world.


Okay and business tourism is also looking for wine tourism experiences or not necessarily?

yes of course, of course. Cool

After a day of work what better than to relax, a tasting or small games around wine

It is very much in demand of course since there is a business tourist also wants to live the experience of Bordeaux and it is true that they are quite limited times and therefore

it is important that there is a moment of conviviality around the tasting.

Anyway, wine is conviality so yes it works well!


One more question! What are the projects of the Bordeaux tourist office?

What are the prospects?

Well the prospects at the moment is to work on a strategy around sustainable tourism of course.

For many years, we have worked on this development of urban tourism which is still quite young in the end since its date since the end there was first the advent of European capitals and then people wanted to discover these secondary cities are Bordeaux Lille Lyon Marseille and it is true that now we are on a theme that is very important for all sectors d 'activities that is this sustainability of the economy and for tourism it is really important to us also to go in this strategy there and it is something quite exciting because we are clearing a lot of things because the guidelines are not written in the way of being a sustainable tourism destination but in any case with with the new municipality with the metropolis of Bordeaux we have been working for some time to be really at the forefront of this sustainable tourism we have a responsibility in Bordeaux that we do not wish to assume for the years to come!


Thank you Olivier. Now, let's move on to the personal section!

So Olivier, if you were a wine what wine would you be?

Be careful…

I was really pleasantly surprised by the white wines of Pessac Léognan

Already we stay in the region

I knew red wines well and it is true that white wine has been a discovery for me in the last two years and

I admit that I really appreciate the white Pessac Léognan

Okay a castle in particular where you're going to get too wet?


If you were a book, what book would you be?

Plus a current finally really a form of literature that I like very much which is the historical novel

Ken Follet maybe?

Exactly and I liked Tim Willocks' religion… a little bit all these books that really tell stories throughout the countries

It's not for nothing that in the tourism sector I like all these stories, the storytelling around the history of the countries and travel in general.


And to finish Olivier, if you were a film, what film would you be?

Then I will be Kill Bill but because I like this film there is nothing to do with an excessive aggressiveness

It's a film that I really enjoy very much. I don't like all of Quentin Tarantino's films, but I like those films.

since I am quite sensitive to music in general

the soundtrack /yeah the soundtrack with the images and how quentin taratino arrives

to film some scenes like a music video and I find it really fabulous a fairly simple scenario of revenge that I like well.


Thank you very much Olivier for this interview.

I hope you have learned more about the functioning of the tourist offices and especially
that of Bordeaux

and I hope you will enjoy coming to see us in Bordeaux and to call on the Tourist Office but also the Ateliers de Bacchus!


See you soon



Here are the old interviews:

Interview with Jérémy SARTHOU, recruiter specialized in the wine industry



Presentation of the au MICRO de Bacchus channel by Pauline Champeil

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