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TourInvest Forum 2016: have tourist accommodations already begun to reinvent themselves?

In order to resolve this problem that is more topical than ever, the first Master Class at TourInvest Forum 2016 brought together directors and managers of repositioned old concepts and recently initiated new concepts new concepts. Can the new concepts go beyond marketing awareness to truly establish itself in the commercial accommodations landscape ? Do traditional formulas have the flexibility and will needed to re-evaluate itself in light of the emergence of a new clientele? These subjects need to be addressed without concessions.

I - How customers have evolved on different segments

"Customers are younger than ever and there has been a rise in range, although customers of Gîte de France are French first and foremost, with an average age of 50. Customers want many things, but first and foremost that want an experience. They must be captured at the right moment, when that desire corresponds to our offer."

Anne-Catherine Péchinot - Directrice Générale, Gîtes de France

"Young clientele are looking for facility, particularly in terms of payment and reservations. Notions of hospitality (quality and reception) and price are also decisive. Regardless of desire for discovery and adventure, this clientele teed to be reassured, particularly by a certitude that the product corresponds to them, in terms of spirit, conviviality, facilitated meetings."

Romain Viennois – Président, France Hostels

"We must constantly re-evaluate ourselves and break codes. The consumer increasingly becomes a key actor in his stay. As hoteliers, we tended to rest on our laurels and it is difficult to recover. With Nomad, we invite clients to organize their space, to play with technology, to adopt an eco-responsible approach. The concept encourages conviviality, like a sort of secondary residence where it is good to live. We receive 20 to 30 very positive comments each day."

Gurvan Branellec – Président, Oceania Hotels

"Today, travelers are increasingly looking for an experience rather than a place to live. At first we wanted the park to address families who would be interested in apartments. In the end, much of our clientele are corporate, with increasing numbers of clients from China and more and more families. The desire to live an experience may be found in the variety of types of accommodation and diversity of our supply, which is resolutely established in a local fabric."

Paul Besnainou – Président, Sweet Inn

II - About the product offer

"Each year we take on 3,200 new lodgings; representing around 470 million euros in investment for their owners, particularly in terms of decoration and equipment. We are seeing a strong increase in range that also corresponds to a desire for a return on investment. Reusing furniture we no longer want at home does not not work at all anymore. The new forms of accommodation (cabins, yurts, …) loss leaders to that drive the rest of the property. The foundation of the concept is rural, but we have 2,000 urban accommodations, 200 of which are in Paris and we are still working to develop this supply. Our approach is to allow as many people as possible -especially young- to travel: to do so it is necessary to go to destinations where there is currently a shortage."

Anne-Catherine Péchinot

"The concept de Sweet Inn is that of a hotel, but scattered throughout the city. We own leases on apartments and we design and decorate rooms depending on the neighborhood's feel and atmosphere. Sweet Inn offers a total local experience. It is a matter of at most a few apartments per building to preserve mostly local neighbors. Moreover in each city we have a lobby shared by all the apartments, partnerships with fitness gyms… The product is 4*and up."

Paul Besnainou

III - The economic model

"The role of Gîtes de France is to accompany project developers particularly in terms of financing. Operating a bed and breakfast is difficult, with an average of around 20,000 euros in terms of turnover. The market is regulates itself. We explain that it is not possible to live from a guest house, although some owners adopt a truly professional approach with employees. We take an approach that is both societal and social. The reward is both economic and emotional in terms of the pleasure of sharing. And yet, Gîtes de France posts good results: +6.5% business volume this year, with no impact from competition from Airbnb."

Anne-Catherine Péchinot

"The current trend is towards professionalizing the trade, due to the implication of institutional investors. The additional revenue from bars, restaurants, services is developing and represents one third of turnover, compared to two-thirds from accommodations. With technology it is possible to offer more services, to seek perfection. ‘Hostels’ are popular among investors and destinations today. It is true that public entities are looking for an original product original that brings new clientele."

Romain Viennois

"Revenue comes from renting apartments to individuals. We offer additional services à la carte depending on the customer's requests. That makes it possible to offer affordable prices per night. Today rent represents about 40% of our expenses. We must adapt and respect the specific legislation of each town. Today we are working along two development axes: test new neighborhoods, and more varied apartment sizes."

Paul Besnainou

"We are not yet seeing any return because there were heavy investments to launch two Nomad properties. It is necessary to take a constructive approach, so that our products stand out. We have addressed the question of price in the opposite direction, by offering a full Nomad formula from which may be deducted services that are not used, which makes it possible to offer an affordable nightly rate. We want to simplify the rate card as much as possible to make it easy to read."

Gurvan Branellec

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