Economic recovery: «French-style tourism»

In a tribune au Parisien, Dominique Desseigne, Président-Directeur Général de Barrière, points out « this French way of knowing life, knowing how to welcome, knowing discover».

Picture : Elene Usdin

By Dominique Desseigne, CEO of Groupe Barrière

«The French Prime Minister has made tourism a national priority. This announcement has been warmly received, particularly as tourism, the hotel and restaurant industry, leisure activities and French culture have been hit hard by this health crisis. This priority is also welcome news, especially as these activities involve contact and interaction, which have become part and parcel of our lives, and which virtual reality will never be able to replace. Moreover, they represent an exceptional source of revenue, employment and international exposure for France.

It is true that the difficulties encountered by the sector are devastating. But, as is often the case, we can create opportunities to bounce back from adversity. This crisis challenges us to reassess our professions. It is our chance to change, so that it feels as though nothing has actually changed, allowing our sector to rapidly become a jewel in France’s crown again, shining brighter than ever.

The Covid-19 crisis highlights a period of growth in our history, rather than a period of discontinuity. Even if it’s not going to be vastly different to the one we’d grown accustomed to in recent decades, the world of the future will undoubtedly be influenced by the rise in trends and aspirations that have already become apparent, and which we’ve seen gain momentum with both customers and company employees: the search to find meaning, the desire for more solidarity, the demand for more corporate social and environmental responsibility, as well as the increasing importance of leisure activities on a social and economic level. 

In this post Covid-19 world, our customers will rightly ask for both safety and freedom, social distancing measures and a warm sociable atmosphere, social and environmental responsibility and ease of purchase, with priority given to buying local at the best price…

These requirements may seem contradictory, but they can be met and have already been tried and tested: it’s the «French way», which has been working wonders for many years now both in the leisure sector, and in terms of luxury goods. An alluring magic created when the North and South become one, uniting rigour and creativity, professionalism and passion, elegance and relaxation, serenity and adventure.

In terms of tourism and leisure, the French etiquette, hospitality and capacity to discover is in fact perfectly adapted to these up-and-coming desires. As French tourism professionals, it’s as if we know this potentially new world already. A clear sign of this can be seen in a survey our Group carried out on 16,000 customers: a distinct majority stated that they would use casinos, hotels and restaurants just as often after the health crisis as before. It is important not to focus only on the potential revenue that these activities represent. What really counts here is the vote of confidence for professionals in our field.»


Source : Le Parisien