Being recently invited to a local conference hosted by ‘Bienvenue a la Ferme’ was a fantastic and most informative experience, not least because I had a chance to meet a lovely chap from Gites de France, Charente. Now, I had always wondered what Gites de France could offer a gite owner above and beyond the competitors, so this was a brilliant opportunity to find out.
How does registering with Gites de France help gite owners?
Gites de France has been in business for over sixty years and is a well-renowned label throughout France; however, as a gite owner, what are the real benefits of being a Gite de France subscriber, if any? (Read more about the history of Gites de France and how to find a gite).
To me, it had seemed a little expensive, and I had heard rumours it was maybe a little outdated, so I wanted to probe further and hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Maxime informed me that with partnership links to over 1000 businesses in France and reductions and preferential tariffs negotiated with many businesses and tourist attractions, maybe it is time to take a closer look at what is on offer. He had my attention.
Firstly, gite owners have access to a dedicated local team who know you and your properties, as they visit your gite prior to any agreement. As you may be aware, word of mouth and local recommendations can make the difference between a gite business that is ticking over and an in-demand, positively thriving gite business. So, a dedicated team who cares and who knows your business could be a big plus.
This team can deal with all your bookings, payments, taxe de sejour and your insurances, or you can opt to manage your own bookings if you prefer. Gite owners also have access to a system which will synchronise all your calendars, create and follow your reservation contracts, and gain feedback from your customers, which is marketing gold.
Amongst other selling points, you can directly change your photographs and your online advert on national and departmental pages, as well as download all your income for your revenue declarations. Arguably, streamlining administration work in this way is very beneficial and time-saving.
Gite classment and bespoke packages
This dedicated team, so the lovely Maxime explained, can also advise you with your business development strategy, and they can arrange your gite classification (where your gite is classified according to national standards and affords you tax benefits) visit at a preferential rate. In fact, they can also suggest bespoke training packages according to your needs. This is something really worth knowing as training is a really important aspect of gite ownership. Many owners have had careers but are not necessarily from a tourism or hospitality background. This is a very interesting point.
Booking with Gites de France
Secondly, from a customer’s point of view, why would I seek to book via Gites de France? Apart from being a widely recognised brand which creates consumer confidence, did you know that each Gite de France property is visited prior to the advert going live and that property is revisited every five years to ensure standards are maintained or improved?
Your customers also receive the PASS PRIVILEGE, which entitles them to reduced tariffs at local tourist attractions. This was all news to me, and it is something which I know my customers will appreciate.
In conclusion: will La Grue gites be joining Gites de France?
Over 300 properties are advertised by Gites de France in the Charente and, after careful consideration and thanks to a chance meeting with Maxime, there is soon to be at least one more…!
If you would like to know more about your local Gites de France team and how your gite can become part of Gites de France, contact https://www.gites-de-france.com/fr/obtenir-le-label
Read the story of Carol’s journey to opening La Grue gites.
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