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The Languedoc is a former province of France. Its territory is now contained in the modern-day region of Occitanie in the south of France. Its capital city was Toulouse. It had an area of approximately 27,376km2. On the traditional territory of the province of Languedoc there live approximately 3,650,000 people (as of 1999 census), 52% of these in the Languedoc-Roussillon région, 35% in the Midi-Pyrénées région, 8% in the Rhône-Alpes région, and 5% in the Auvergne région.
Languedoc is a significant producer of wine, and a major contributor to the surplus known as the “wine lake”. Today it produces more than a third of the grapes in France, and is a focus for outside investors. Wines from the Mediterranean coast of Languedoc are labeled as Languedoc, those from the interior have other labels such as Fronton, Gaillac, or Limoux to the west – and Côtes du Rhône towards east.
Services are the largest sector of the economy in the region. In particular, government services employ a significant part of the workforce, especially in small towns. Key administrations have been relocated to the region, such as France’s National Meteorology Office (Météo-France) relocated from Paris to Toulouse in 1982.
The area is also a major tourist destination. There exists three types of tourism. First, a massive summer tourism industry on the coast, with huge sea resorts such as Cap d’Agde, Palavas-les-Flots, or Le Grau-du-Roi, built in the 1970s.
Tourism related to history and art is also strong, as the region contains the historic cities of Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier, countless Roman monuments (such as the Roman arenas in Nîmes), medieval abbeys, Romanesque churches, and old castles (such as the ruined Cathar castles in the mountains of Corbières, testimony of the bloody Albigensian Crusade).
More recently, “green” and sports tourism is on the rise, with the gorges of the Tarn River, the Ardèche Gorges, as well as the vast preserved expanses of Cévennes, Ardèche, Lauragais, and other sites.
Tourism on the Canal du Midi combines history (for example viewing the nine locks of Fonseranes near Béziers) with activities such as boating on the Canal, and walking or cycling on the towpaths.
Toulouse and Montpellier are also popular places for business congresses and conventions.
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