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The SNELAC, which in French stands for the National Syndicate for Attractions and Leisure and Cultural Spaces, is a national syndicate that helps to promote the activities of leisure sites. It caters to both public and private sites that use an enclosed space for recreational and/or cultural purposes. Aside from this rather long-winded definition, more than 250 members of the SNELAC gives one an idea of the diversity of activites it undertakes. The sites range in size from Disneyland Paris to family-owned business with two employees. They differ also in status: there are private businesses as well as ones that have both a private and public status such as La Citadelle in Besançon. The nature of their attractions vary from amusement parks to museums. It is important to note, however, that the "C" in the acronym which stands for "Cultural" was just added in 2000 and that it includes only profit-making cultural sites. As a syndicate, the SNELAC represents the industry before French and European government agencies and courts, promotes the activities of the industry as a whole, acts as a source for information, and plays the role of observes the industry carefully so as to anticipate security issues, consumer expectations or new methods of investment.


But reducing the role of SNELAC to the traditional one of industry representative would be omitting the essential function it has been carrying out in recent years, namely, the organisation of this business sector. It is an ambitious project for a sector that, besides being very diverse, is relatively new in France. Moreover, the arrival of Disneyland Paris in 1992 has profoundly changed the profession; putting into question the viability of certain already-existing parks while leading to the establishment of new ones. Created in 1994, under the framework of the old France Parks, itself created in 1983, SNELAC is organised around a series of committees-touristic, judicial, technical…-that try to change the normative aspects and regulations of the profession. But it is in the social aspect that advances have been made. SNELAC was behind the first collective convention of the sector in 1994. A new profession, that of leisure agent, a training program, the organisation of a contingency fund for park employees, a nomenclature, and a salary structure were all established at this convention. In total, this concerns some 5000 employees.


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