Fully modernized, the refurbished City Center near the Old Port of Marseille offers new services for companies in an high-tech environment.

The Marseille Provence World Trade Center—a hub for business, conferences, networking and innovation—is getting a fresh start. The reopening of the refurbished City Center forms the centerpiece of a triptych focusing on Aix Marseille Provence business opportunities. Businesses will be offered new services in a totally reconfigured high-tech environment. For the Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which owns this iconic site at the heart of the city, the challenge now lies in providing high-quality event hosting while at the same time confirming its primary purpose as a key space for the internationalization of businesses.

Located in the World Trade Center just a stone’s throw from the Old Port, MuCEM (the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations), Galeries Lafayette and Marseille St-Charles train station, the City Center occupies a strategic location for business tourism. Marseille Provence CCI is aware of the potential and has committed 4 million euros to refurbishing this building, which adjoins the Hotel Mercure and overlooks the remains of the ancient harbor. As Jean-Luc Chauvin, CEO of the Marseille Provence CCI and Provence Promotion, reminds us, “Every large city has symbolic locations for businesses. We wanted to make the City Center Vieux-Port a pleasant, attractive place while reaffirming the original international purpose of this building. With the diplomatic representation of 72 countries, Marseille has risen to second place among France’s consular cities.”

Positioned half-way between conference hotel and the large hosting capacity of the Palais du Pharo and the Parc Chanot, the World Trade Center has a plenary hall that can accommodate 420 delegates and aims to host medium-sized events. Fully modernized by Tangram architects and with endlessly modular spaces and thoughtfully selected materials, the WTC now houses a CityLab dedicated to project acceleration, complementing the co-working facilities located on the second and third floors.

This major work will be completed with the renovation of the facade in 2020 and should ensure increased use of the site. “We want to double the number of visitors within the next year and a half. We already have reservations for 2018 and 2019,” says Paul Chaffard, CEO of the WTC.

Tour Jean Nouvel and Espace George V, two more prestigious locations for businesses

To further boost business opportunities and economic development, in 2014 the Marseille Provence CCI also opened a 300 m2 business center in Paris, the Espace George V.

This prestigious location, just a short walk from the Champs-Élysées, has also been recently refurbished for meetings, rented office space and even event organization.

In late 2018, important matters will be concluded on the top floors of the skyscraper La Marseillaise, which is currently under construction. Based at the top of the Jean Nouvel tower, the Sky Center will provide a high-quality working environment of 1,300 m2. Possibilities will include offices, meeting rooms and registered addresses available for rental, all with the added bonus of previously unseen views over the city and the port. The Sky Center will be an international symbol and a key tool in establishing the area’s attractiveness and influence.

Business tourism up by 35%
In the first half of 2017, business tourism in Marseille showed excellent progress with economic benefits twice the national average. In fact, the city recorded 35% growth between January and the end of August (against 16% nationally), with €41.6 million in economic benefits resulting from 444 events. These included both corporate events (70%) and conferences (30%), generating 40% and 60% of economic benefits respectively.