In all countries with a policy of developing tourism based on local dynamism, there are agencies and structures that deal with the promotion of tourism. They include tourist offices and tourist information centres. How to distinguish between these agencies?
The Tourist Office
By definition, a tourist office, is an agency for the management of tourist assets at the local level and which is subject to a special regime, that of the Tourism Code. Its mission is to ensure the promotion of the cultural and tourist values of a city or an entire country through the implementation of policies and strategies that facilitate access to information for all. Its role is above all to develop partnerships at both local and international level to enhance the value of the city or country's culture.
An Initiative syndicate
It is an association of people living in the same community who decide to raise the tourism values of their living environment. An initiative syndicate is therefore a local will carried by individuals who have at heart the tourism development of their communities and who carry out activities to promote and enhance works, sites, art objects, etc.
Other Features of Difference
There is no great dissimilarity between a tourist office and a tourist union. The particularity is that tourist unions are a will that emanates from individuals who organise themselves to promote tourist values. They are small associations which work on their own funds and which do not benefit from a classification. But they can change their status and become offices in the long run if and only if the results they produce are satisfactory and tangible.
As far as the tourist offices are concerned, they benefit from political support and are classified by the Prefect as "Offices of Tourism".