It was in 1989 that the “Village étape” Association was created.
It highlights the services of villages located near the A20 highway in order to avoid an economic slowdown in towns that have been diverted from the road. These must have less than 5000 inhabitants and be located on a free highway or roadway.
The first “Village étape” in France was Bessines-sur-Gartempe in 1995.
Users are informed by signs that they belong to the Village étape initiative, and they know that they will be able to find the shops and services they need in this village.
Gouzon joined the “Village étape” Association in May 2008, giving the town a new dimension.
Being a village étape is…
For road users :
– services: hotels, restaurants, basic needs shops, a tourist office, covered parking, picnic area, 24-hour toilets, ATMs…
– In Gouzon, it is also: doctors, pharmacies, veterinarians, children’s playground, special “motorhome” terminal, gîtes and Bed and Breakfast…
– A quality welcome: merchants, elected officials and tourist offices have signed the quality charter, which is very demanding in terms of the services offered and hospitality.
For villages and traders :
– An increase in the number of visitors to the village.
– Sales up by 30% on average for the hotel and restaurant sector.
– A plus in terms of business transfers
– Maintaining the population
– A boom in the real estate market