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Reform on the reference system for tourist residences

23 May, 2019

If you are a manager of a tourist residence, you have probably heard about the reform of the classification system. Today, a residence is classified according to the services and facilities offered by the establishment. Some criteria are mandatory, others are optional to allow the owner a certain amount of freedom in the layout of his establishment. The order published on April 10, 2019 updates the classification standards for tourist residences. Although it is only applicable from 1 July 2019, we present the key points of the new standard.

The tourist residence market in france

A tourist residence is a category of commercial tourist accommodation. This term refers to the rental of a furnished “ready-to-live” home. There are several types of accommodation: a room, an apartment or a mobile home. According to the definition given by the INSEE, a tourist residence must at least offer a kitchen area and private sanitary facilities. In contrast to hotels, the provision of services is rather low and less varied.

Initially, tourist residences were created to meet the demand for rental properties in ski resorts. Over time, they have developed on the coast, in the cities and sometimes even in the countryside. Today, there are more than 2200 tourist residences in France. Among the most well-known brands are Adagio, Belambra Clubs and Club Méditerranée. In 2018, tourist residences brought in 3.6 billion receipts for a total of 19 million customers. It is therefore a profitable market that must be exploited.

The functioning of the classification of tourist residences

In order to guarantee a certain quality of the establishments, Atout France has set up a reference system to classify tourist residences. Depending on the criteria defined, an establishment can be classified from 1 to 5 stars. Here is the list of the main conditions to be respected to improve the classification of your residence:

• 1*: “economic” residence, minimum surface area to be respected

• 2* and 3*: “mid-range” residence, opening of the reception at least 5 hours a day, staff able to speak at least 1 foreign language, additional equipment (oven, baby furniture, etc.).

• 4* : ” top-of-the-range ” residence, the staff must speak at least 2 foreign languages, additional equipment (telephone, bath, shower…)

• 5*: “very high-end” residence, internet access and air conditioning, reception staff must be able to speak at least 3 foreign languages.

This residence evaluation grid is periodically updated to adapt to the new expectations of travellers. As the reforms proceed, more and more residences are classified. Today 64% of tourist residences are classified, compared to 50% in 2010 before the last reform. Thus, raising standards encourages owners to become involved in the development of their establishment.

The new criteria of the referential

For all tourism residence managers, be aware that the classification criteria are getting stricter. From now on, the residences must obtain a higher score for the mandatory criteria. The requirements are particularly reinforced for 4* and 5* residences. On the other hand, the list of criteria increases from 175 to 219. There are now more optional criteria to give managers more freedom in the organization of their establishment. As regards the eligibility criteria, they are relaxed. From 1 July 2019, a tourist residence can be classified from 50 beds, compared to 100 before. You can find all the new standards and procedures for the classification of tourist residences on the decree published on 10 April 2019.

The reform of the classification system is part of a desire to modernise tourist residences. According to Pascale Roque, the president of the SNRT (National Union of Tourist Residences), “this reform will give a new impetus to the upgrading of the park”. Faced with increasingly demanding travellers, updating standards is a good way to improve the reputation of French tourist residences.

Currently, a majority of tourist residences in France are classified according to a star barometer. The ranking is defined thanks to an evaluation grid set up by Atout France. The agency defines mandatory criteria to be met according to the number of stars. These criteria are updated to adapt to travellers’ demands for service and comfort. The 2019 reform implies a stricter but more open ranking in terms of eligibility conditions. The introduction of new criteria is contributing to the rise in the quality of tourist residences in France.

23 May, 2019