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Lyon and its Metropole are committed

Towards more responsible tourism

Sustainable Tourism in Lyon

In 2019, Our city was awarded first place for European Capital of Smart Tourism, along with Helsinki. This award is granted by the European Union to reward the most innovative and responsible cities in terms of tourism. Respect for heritage and the environment, a driving force for inclusion and accessibility... Building on this achievement, Greater Lyon and ONLYLYON Tourism & Conventions have decided to go even further and make new commitments to greater responsibility in tourism. 

Rives de Saône - shutterstock_114141880 - Martin M303

What is responsible tourism in Lyon? 

In addition to respecting the environment, which is of course essential, it is also about cultivating the well-being of residents and visitors, making offers accessible to all, and to ensure the authenticity of the experience by bringing people together.

It also means allowing everyone to benefit from this practice in a beneficial cycle that creates business, and generates meaning for all those involved and pride for visitors and residents alike.

A more responsible way of visiting means not being afraid to slow down the pace, allowing time to think and try new things, setting out on a new path and contributing to change.


Respectful tourism

Jardin de Fourvière © L. Peyron

In order to preserve local living conditions, Lyon is committed to promoting its heritage and ensuring that tourists and local residents live together in harmony, particularly through mediation.

The Lyon City Helpers provide an initial tourist welcome at strategic locations for local, national and international visitors. You can find them, for example, at the entrances of the famous Traboules of Old Lyon, where they ensure that the Charter of Good Practices for visiting the historical site of Lyon is respected.

Inclusive tourism

En pomenade place des Terreaux © Delphine Castel

Winner of the European Commission’s 2018 Access City Award, the city of Lyon places accessibility at the heart of the urban experience, offering a trip that is open to all audiences, budgets, and preferences.

Visiting Lyon also means sharing moments with its residents. The Greeters de Lyon network has been growing for ten years and promotes a new form of tourism that is more welcoming and based on voluntary work, cultural exchange and generosity.

Tourism that promotes low-impact transport

Low-impact transport (cycling, rollerblading, walking, etc.) is becoming increasingly popular in the Lyon Metropole. The growth of cycle tourism is a strategic development for the city, which is located at the crossroads of two major cycling routes, namely the Viarhôna, which goes from Geneva to the Mediterranean, and la Voie Bleue - Saône-Moselle, linking Luxembourg and Lyon.

Since 2019, ONLYLYON Tourist office and Convention Bureau has rolled out the national label, Accueil Vélo. This label promotes professionals in the tourism industry that are involved with helping cycle tourists find accommodations, restaurants, sites, rental companies and repair shops, offering guidance to help them meet their specific needs.

Reasoned tourism

In 2010, Lyon created the Lyon, Fair and Sustainable City label. The only one of its kind in France, this label seeks to promote an economy that is local, mindful of the environment, social and communal. On our end, ONLYLYON Tourisme is the first tourist office to commit to a process in order to obtaining the ADEME environmental label. . It has also adopted an approach to reduce its environmental footprint, as part of a collaborative organisational project, with the aim of achieving CSR certification (LUCIE 26000). Furthermore, a ‘Tourism and Disability’ quality label has been launched.

With the same aims in mind, OTC also helps accommodation providers, restaurants, cultural and leisure activity providers, and event and stay planners to achieve environmental certifications. In 2020, a consultation was initiated with all professionals in the destination to transition collectively towards a more responsible form of tourism and identify their needs and prospects more globally.

Sustainable tourism

In October 2021, this engagement was highlighted by the GDS-Index (Global Destination Sustainability Index), which gave Lyon an award for the best annual progress. Our city is in 7th place in the global ranking of cities engaged in sustainable tourism. Each year, the GDS-Index observes progress made by cities in respect of their commitments, results and follow-up actions. 
OTC has also achieved ISO 20121 certification for the organisation and hosting of trade and general public events, as well as for its work to promote the destination. This represents one more step for the destination towards more responsible tourism.

Local tourism 

Since 2010, ONLYLYON Tourisme has set up several tools in order to promote local tourism.

The Lyon City Card 365 is a variation of the classic Lyon City Card, specifically designed for Lyon’s residents. The pass allows you to discover 3 cultural or touristic activities over a year, and includes a guided tour to (re)discover the city!

In 2021, 'A la Lyonnaise' for the destination’s residents and visitors. Including a free quarterly magazine, a Facebook page, a website and regular newsletters, this media offering helps curious and active people find ideas for original, unusual or new things to do. They can keep up to date with what’s happening in the city and be proud of Lyon and its metropolitan area.   

Innovative tourism

Lyon uses innovation and digitalisation to enhance the quality of the customer experience in order to ensure that a trip to Lyon is an unforgettable one! As such, ONLYLYON Tourisme has launched a ground-breaking initiative, the only one of its kind in Europe: ONLYLYON Expérience, a destination CRM that aims to build an emotional, long-lasting and profitable relationship with local, national and international visitors. ONLYLYON Expérience draws on ONLYLYON Tourism’s customer databases as well as those of its partners, such as hoteliers and activity providers, in order to offer quality digital support to all who visit. One of the objectives of the initiative is to better disperse the flow of Lyon’s visitors by encouraging them to discover places off the beaten track.

Peaceful tourism

Label Charte Sérénité, Ensemble pour prendre soin de vous - ONLYLYON Tourisme

In 2020, the Lyon Metropole and ONLYLYON Tourisme joined forces to create the “Peace of Mind Charter, Together to care for each other”. This commitment charter is intended for all of the city’s professionals who are involved in welcoming visitors, such as accommodation providers, restaurant owners, site managers and other shopkeepers. The goal is to provide support to visitors through each step of their trip, in regard to the mandated health measures for Covid-19, and to help them identify socially-committed businesses throughout Lyon thanks to a specific logo.
This annually updated Charter is intended to last, and it evolves each year in line with changes in the public health situation, as well as with responsible commitments made by the destination’s stakeholders.

The development of responsible tourism in Lyon and its surroundings, a process that has already been in place for several years, is based on two initiatives that are regularly monitored to meet the defined objectives.

See the Lyon Metropole sustainable tourism development plan