Happiness is in the meadow.
The growth driver too.
In the context of Covid 19, and in anticipation of post-pandemic tourism trends, Airbnb has identified the French countryside as a sustainable destination.
A small cultural revolution for the platform which still relies heavily on metropolises.
The Hexagon, in terms of tourist accommodation offers, reveals a certain number of "white zones".
These voids are the result of the disappearance of the small family hotel business, crushed by standards and legal obligations.
Les Voivres, for example, a village in the Vosges, a stone's throw from the thermal baths of Bains-les-Bains, “had 13 hotels in the past, but only two remain today, even though we are welcoming more. of curists ”, underlines the councilor, Michel Fournier, also president of the association of the rural mayors of France (AMRF).
Victim of the coronavirus, will Airbnb be able to recover?
Airbnb, which already lists 700,000 offers in France, wishes to develop 15,000 additional accommodation in the open air by the end of 2021. A way of drawing a line on a nightmarish year 2020.
“The revenge of the campaigns, last summer, continues and is confirmed, points out Emmanuel Marill, CEO of Airbnb France.
French tourism, long concentrated in Île-de-France, Rhône-Alpes and Paca, is dispersing.
Tomorrow, the small village of 300 inhabitants which is neither in the mountains nor on the coast, but has its charm, its history and its land, will have hosts who will offer their farm or their mill.
And these people will find interested travelers.
In France, rural Airbnb hosts have also pocketed 450 million euros since the start of the pandemic.
Training for neat accommodation
Partner, the AMRF is pleased.
“The territories will benefit from this dynamic,” explains Michel Fournier.
Traders, artisans, short-circuit producers, the entire local ecosystem awaits this new clientele of holidaymakers, a priori younger and more urban.
The alliance of a very "hinterland", almost "franchouillarde" association, with a champion of globalized capitalism, sometimes criticized, does it not risk however to blur the lines?
“We asked ourselves questions, concedes Michel Fournier.
We have asked for clarification on the payment of the tourist tax, which may have been a problem in the past, but things seem to have improved.
We also insisted that the quality be there, no question that an individual can rent anything!
Airbnb promises more transparency to cities to better monitor owners
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Precisely: a training program will help new hosts to come up with a neat accommodation offer.
Finally, the new partnership includes the creation of the “Campaigns for the Future” fund, managed by the AMRF, to “unlock the tourism potential of rural France”.
For each new ad created in a rural town, 100 euros will be paid by Airbnb.
Ambassadors to preach the good word
To carry out its project, Airbnb relies on volunteer ambassadors, such as Sébastien, host at the Chapelle Saint-Rémy, a town of 900 souls in the Sarthe, which started three years ago.
“The region is not hyper-touristic, but who says Le Mans says racing circuit.
Fifteen days after the posting of my ad, I had my first reservation, he rewinds.
Since then, I rent about 150 nights a year.
In my open countryside, I would never have imagined receiving Australians, Argentines, Chinese.
For lack of foreign travelers, Airbnb is betting on the campaign with the French
In his mission with the American giant, he will travel to the villages, to the markets, to preach the good word of tourism.
“There is potential, he insists, even beyond tourists.
I sometimes host workers on the move, such as those from the SNCF Le Mans-La Ferté Bernard line, or even fiber installers.
The Gîtes de France have been present for sixty years in deep France.
Are they worried?
“It's healthy competition,” explains Solange Escure, Managing Director of the National Federation.
It makes it possible to increase the offer and better promote the territories.
It's up to us to be more efficient in order to exist with our differences.
Gîtes de France is not a simple key box, we offer a personalized welcome by the owner.
We also have for us a real quality monitoring of our products.
"The lodges also, in passing, benefit from the" return of the value of authenticity ", since new project leaders have increased by nearly 15% since the start of the year.