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Breaking Into French Riviera’s Markets


The French Riviera is located in the South of France, it is nicely nestled between the Alps, the Italian border and the Mediterranean Sea, it offers great cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, beautiful hilltop villages, the region enjoys exceptional sunny climate all year round, which makes it a key destination for a vacation. It offers loads of business opportunities for hospitality, real estate and many other business activities.

The French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is famously known for its glamorous beach resorts in Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the sovereign microstate of Monaco. The region attracts millions of people throughout the year, the city of Cannes host several congresses and events all year, such as MIPIM, MIPTV, Cannes Film Festivals, Cannes Lions, MIDEM, Cannes Yachting Festival, ILTM, Monaco Grand Prix, Nice Jazz Festival, Lemon Festival in Menton, and many other events in different parts of the region.

According to Team Côte d’Azur, Sophia Antipolis is known as the European “Silicon Valley”, it is the hub for powerful innovations and it has welcomed several investors from all over the world, especially those specializing in High-Technology. Real estate attracts a lot of investors to the region despite its ups and downs, it is still a profitable investment and remains a desirable location to investors.

The early 1990s to 2000s presented favorable business development opportunities for investors like Cisco, Oracle, Dolby Digital, Symantec, Accenture HP, IBM, Thalès, Schneider Electrics, and many more to take advantage of the prospects the French Riviera has to offer since then there has been a continuous influx of startups and business development strategy which indeed has contributed to so many job creation in the region as well as economic development.

For example, in a report by Team Côte d’Azur, the mentioned that around 10 to 15% of business set-up on the French Riviera originated from Northern America. These businesses accounted for 20% of the total jobs created. The region benefits from a strong digital ecosystem coupled with a strategic location.

French Riviera business strategy options:

The choice is yours actually, it’s up to you to decide on the type of business to build in the French Riviera, there are lots of subsidiaries with brainpower to support your business goals. There is a full range of options depending on the competitive strength of your products, how unique your services are, and most of all, your financial strength.

The French Riviera business strategy: Challenges

Don’t be afraid of challenges, people really do thrive on challenges that come their way. With the right business strategy, although not an easy task, the rewards of doing business on the French Riviera are high.

Some key challenges are:
Living on the French Riviera can be very expensive, but it’s pretty easy to find affordable accommodation if you don’t need a fancy place to stay.
The cost of employment is high.

Be prepared for lots of paperwork and government taxes, but things are looking better for small businesses and startups due to government support.

Although French is the official language but the culture is diverse, especially in Monaco and Cannes, you can get by speaking English for sure.
To succeed, you must listen to the customers and learn from them through feedback. So, do you really understand the French Riviera’s market, and its customers?

The French Riviera’s business strategy: Rewards

Several global companies previously mentioned have had profitable and successful business development activities in the French Riviera’s market, the most successful are the big tech firms, real estate, and hospitality industry.

Below are a few reasons to take advantage of breaking into the French Riviera Market for business startups or expansion:

  • It is one of the major tourist destinations in the South of France (Europe).
  • The region enjoys exceptional 300 days of sunshine.
  • Startups usually get support from the government, the region, and private investors.
  • There are abundant competitive talents from top management, technical, and design universities.


Are you looking to expand your business to new markets but don’t know where to start? Do you need market research, creative business development? Get in touch with us in the contact section to book a free strategy session.




Dr. Matilda Olori

Author Dr. Matilda Olori

Dr. Matilda is the founder of Mondial Trends, the first Growth Marketing Agency on the French Riviera, she is one of the team’s core growth marketing strategists. She is a versatile strategist with expertise in creative strategic marketing thinking with an out-of-the-box approach. When she's not auditing strategies and creatively planning the best formula for clients' success, you will find her at the beach enjoying the ocean on the French Riviera.

More posts by Dr. Matilda Olori

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