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Normandy's attractions now offer reduced fees to tourists arriving by bike, train or bus

In a move designed to incentivize more eco-friendly travel, Normandie Tourisme is introducing le tarif bas-carbone, offering discounted admission to over 70 cultural attractions and tourism sites across the region. Kicking off in spring 2024, the initiative rewards visitors with at least 10% off regular ticket prices if they reduce their carbon footprint by traveling via train, bus or bicycle.

tarif-bas-carboneFor tourists, taking advantage of discounts is straightforward. To receive the reduced admission rate at participating attractions, they simply present a train or bus ticket as dated proof of arrival, or show a photo of their bicycle.

Low-carbon pricing was previously introduced at Juno Beach Centre, Canada's Second World War museum in Normandy. In 2019, a GHG audit found that visitor transportation generated 80% of the museum's emissions — and most visitors came by car. In 2021, Juno Beach started offering up to 33% admission discount for those who arrived by train, bus or bike.

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While discounted admission fees alone won't sway vast numbers of tourists away from the familiar convenience of travel by car, initiatives like Normandy's low-carbon tariff serve as a subtle reminder of the link between driving and increased CO2 emissions. For some visitors, that small economic incentive could be enough of a nudge to opt for a lower-impact, lower-congestion alternative.

Adopting comparable sustainable pricing practices is relatively easy for other destinations to implement, too. So, if you're in the tourism industry, what's stopping you? If you're not afraid of (guaranteed) backlash, you could even take the far bolder step of charging higher prices to those who arrive by high-carbon transport...