With 696 days to go until the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, France, the Normandy 2014 Organising Committee is aiming to make a real success of the event from every point of view: competitions, general organisation, work on the different venues, reception and visitor services.
"I know that each and every national delegation is working towards the same goal – they all want to come out on top," said Laurent Beauvais, President of the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee. "The Norman people are also mobilising, they’ll be ready to give their full support to everything we are trying to achieve. It’s true that we’re still two years away from the event, but we can already feel the growing enthusiasm throughout the region."
Accommodation: Normandy has a wide range of choice
With an expected 500,000 spectators and 1,200 media representatives during Normandy’s fortnight in the spotlight, the Organising Committee has had to define an all-important accommodation strategy for welcoming the public.
There are two common goals: guarantee overnight accommodation for accredited persons and ensure the best possible reservation conditions and controlled-prices for spectators.
The equestrian family will be lodged as close to the competition venues as possible: nearly 45,000 rooms have been booked on a first option basis in fifty-one of the Calvados area’s establishments.
This provisional booking represents a direct economic benefit of 6.7 million euros, of which 3 million will be paid for by the Organising Committee, in accordance with its commitment to the Fédération Equestre Internationale.
Committed tourism professionals
Nevertheless, hotel capacity will not be saturated: 80% of the hotel rooms in the Calvados area will remain available at this period.
The Lower Normandy region boasts a wide range of varied, high-quality accommodation in the three departments or administrative areas that make up the region.
Normandy has more than enough choice when it comes to receiving all different types of public: hotels, campsites, country cottages, bed and breakfast.
It is estimated that spectators will book a further 40,000 overnight stays through direct contact with booking offices set up in Normandy.
This is the first time that a regional entity has worked with tourism professionals on such a large-scale event, and notably, two years before the beginning of the event.
2012 – Feet firmly on the ground
When it comes to getting all the different competitions ready, the sports management team, headed by Laurent Cellier, is hard at work on a number of major issues.
One such concern is the importance of equestrian surfaces – no mean feat if the well-being of horses and the quality of the competitions is to be taken into account. Contracts have now been signed with specialist equestrian surface suppliers. Course upgrade work has begun at Le Pin National Stud to get the Eventing cross-country track up to standard. Another seminar will bring the discipline managers together in October. The Organising Committee is laying down the groundwork to ensure that it can provide an answer to all the different requests from the various official delegations. British and Australian delegations have already been over to Normandy and they will be followed shortly by the U.S. delegation.
2013- Test events
To make sure that nothing is left to chance, test events will be organised at the competition venues: endurance, eventing, driving, reining in the summer of 2013 and at the d’Ornano stadium for jumping and dressage in June 2014.
These real-life rehearsals will be the occasion to test the choices made by the Organising Committee’s teams in conjunction with the Fédération Equestre Internationale. The national federations will be able to take a good look at the different sites and check the resources made available to them.
Opening up to the public
The year 2013 will see the launch of a recruitment drive for volunteer workers and of the ticketing office during the second quarter. It will be an ideal opportunity to formally publicise the ticket reservation details and prices.
"Equestrian sports fans are very eager to book their places at the event. The Organising Committee has developed an affordable pricing policy in the interest of attracting as many people as possible to the competitions," said Fabien Grobon, managing director of the Organising Committee. "The average ticket price will be fixed at 25 euros, with different competitive options such as special “event passes” or “one-day passes. This will guarantee that the event remains accessible and as far-reaching as possible”.
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