In Béziers, the economic impact of bullfighting at the heart of the discussion

Every day until Thursday November 24, when the National Assembly examines Aymeric Caron’s bill to ban bullfighting, Midi Libre Béziers presents the arguments of two local activists on a specific angle. . Place for the president of Medef Ouest Hérault, Matthieu Ourliac, facing the president of Colbac, Sophie Maffre-Baugé, on the question of the economic benefits of bullfighting.

“The Feria could not live in all its component without bullfighting”

President of Medef Ouest Hérault and supporter of the bullfighting community, Matthew Ourliac evokes the importance of bullfighting for the territory’s economy and the impacts of a possible ban on bullfighting.

“In the preamble, the Feria is bullfighting because this festival could not live in all its component without bullfighting. It attracts an audience beyond the festaïres with the presence of entrepreneurs, intellectuals, artists and The Feria has an immense economic impact on the territory of Béziers.

What differentiates a party from a Feria with bullfights lies in the aficionados who are a clientele with real purchasing power and common values. They consume and the impacts on hotels, restaurants and bars are major.”

“A lot of business is born around the arenas”

“But this clientele also arrives in Béziers with its economy. Thus, the local impact exceeds the repercussions of the festival. Such an important event offers a national, even international influence, and contributes to the promotion of the territory. It makes it possible to invite customers and partners on a major and unique event.

A lot of business springs up around bullrings and bullring. The Feria and the bullfight are unique and one-off events that are significant in business relations. If the subject is divisive, it is very loyal to forge partnerships because they are anchored in tradition and speaking the truth.

Fundamental values ​​among entrepreneurs and aficionados. The bullfight symbolizes the reality of life and death. But also an art of living.

“Loss of jobs in the catering and hotel industry”

“Bullfighting also contributes to the discovery of Béziers for these entrepreneurs. Business leaders can see its attraction and project themselves on the potential of this city. Through the Feria, they discover a living environment, an economy, traditions which are just as many conditions for the attractiveness of the territory.

If bullfighting is banned, there will be job losses in the catering and hotel industry, not to mention bullfighting professionals (organizers, breeders, etc.). But we will also witness the perverse effect of not creating any with the indirect business generated. Bullfighting attracts a clientele that participates in the creation of wealth. The Feria sans toro would attract a population with less potential”.

“95% of people come to the Feria without going to the corrida”

Sophie Maffre-Baugé is convinced that it is the Ferias that attract visitors to Béziers.

Biterroise Sophie Maffre-Bauge is the president of the Colbac (biterrois liaison committee for the abolition of bullfighting). She collaborated with Aymeric Caron in the preparation of the bill.

“The stopping of bullfights will not have a negative impact on the economy of our region. The activists confuse Feria and bullfighting, and on purpose. And they do the same between bullfighting and all the other bullfights without bloodshed. But no document is provided on the economic impact of bullfighting, the only one we denounce. There are no figures on this. Bullfights in themselves do not create any wealth. They are deficit”.

“It’s the Ferias that bring in the money”

“There are fewer and fewer audiences because they are cruel, and cruelty is rejected by the public. They are subsidized. In 2021, the municipality of Béziers helped Betarra (arena management company) with an exemption from the variable part of the rent (i.e. €20,000) and a reduction of €30,000 granted on the rent for the arenas.

It’s the Ferias that bring in money, you have to keep them. The Feria represents 200,000 to 250,000 visitors per day. In the arenas, there are 4,000 to 6,000 entries at each bullfight on average. Or 3% to 5% of people who attend the Feria. We may lose them but we will surely win those who do not come because they are put off. 95% of people come to the Feria without going to the bullfight, so we can have a Feria without bullfighting which harms the image and influence of bullfighting towns. And if the Feria is essential to the survival of bullfights, the reverse is not true”.

“We talk about cultural identity but bullfighting only concerns a minority”

“The retraining of bullfighting actors will not even pose a problem if we abolish bullfighting tomorrow. There are around forty farms in France, including eight in the Camargue. No breeding of “brave bulls” is profitable. breeders have all developed alongside other activities (bed and breakfast, agrotourism, reception rooms, etc.)

They breed bulls out of passion but cannot make a living from French bullfights. Because three-quarters of the bulls used come from farms in Spain. 90% of brave bulls are sent to the slaughterhouse, which is why breeding is subsidized by the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).

As for the French matadors, they have very few contracts in France, three-quarters of the bullfights are provided by foreign matadors. Only the great figures earn a very good living. Talking about the economic benefits of bullfighting is therefore manipulation of opinion, it’s bluffing, there is no study to prove it. And then no economic argument should justify torturing an animal.

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