With the tourist industry down, the professionals immediately showed agility to regenerate and adapt their offers to new dreams elsewhere.

Imagination, daring, and the full awareness that the French want more ethics, solidarity and authenticity in their travels, have enabled tourism professionals to offer escape offers for a year, Nevertheless.

Respire: the association that rethinks the tourism of tomorrow

In March 2020, professionals from all tourism professions are launching a Facebook group called “ Breathe, the tourism of tomorrow “. Goal : “ Reflect on the changes that this crisis will bring in (the) ways of doing, marketing and consuming tourism. “A year later, the collective is an association which claims” more than 8,000 followers worldwide “. Official partner of the IFTM Top Resa trade fair, a high mass for professionals from October 5 to 8 in Paris, she will host workshops on virtuous tourism, tourismophobia (a term given to the rejection of the tourism industry) or even new forms of mobility.

Tailor-made specialists are redeploying

Go to France and abroad. At the dawn of summer, with borders closed, tailor-made specialists reorient their production. Asia Voyages, of which all departures for its geographical area are at a standstill, invents its “ 43rd destination “, France. Some professionals such as Eluxtravel and Les Maisons du voyage (Figaro group), who worked as local agents for foreign tourists, offer their expertise to the French. Others, finally, are struggling to find “ exclusive and atypical experiences “Between nature and culture, such as Confidential Voyages or Club Faune Voyages, whose founder, Sylvie Bernon, has these reassuring words:” We are looking at the end of the world for what we have at home.

Ponant launches “Covid-free” cruises

In July, thanks to their small tonnage of less than 200 passengers, the ships of the French luxury cruise company Ponant are authorized to take to the sea, but the company is distinguished by its “Covid free” protocol, an ultraviolet control system which makes it possible to test and verify the boats, developed with a battalion of marine firefighters from Marseille. Since 2017, she has collaborated with the IHU Méditerranée Infection, with on-board screening equipment. And the Covid-19 has changed its maritime routes: Ponant, renowned for its polar explorations, now also sails in France, around the islands in Brittany and the Mediterranean.

“Who dines, sleeps”, “workation”: the hoteliers counter-attack

From September, in Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon and Marseille, hotel and restaurant owners are offering to sleep after dinner at irresistible prices. The “who sleeps, dines” is thus diverted into a marketing formula more appropriate to the new health rules. The idea appeals to local customers, who offer themselves a bubble of decompression and escape during the time of the curfew. The closure of restaurants puts an end to the celebrations. But the formula inspires other tips for hoteliers, one linked to teleworking, “workation”, the other to the constraint of staying on vacation, “the staycation”, with in-room catering.

New actors enter the scene

In full confinement, they refined their project and changed jobs to become tour operators. Their ideas, committed to slow tourism, for more ethics, equity and less carbon, are popular. Former trader, Stanislas Gruau launched Explora Project, an agency “ with a positive impact on humans and the environment “. Its concept inspired the new tourism strategy for the Grand Annecy region. Former CFO, Olivier Gibouin, imagined MakeYourTripBetter, a collaborative platform that directly connects travelers and residents “ according to a system of mutual evaluation “. Polytechnician Guillaume Jouffre created GreenGo. trip, “ an alternative to Booking and Airbnb “. Former Managing Director of Christie’s and media man, Édouard Boccon-Gibod, passionate about Italy, founded his tailor-made travel company in the peninsula, Solo in Italia, “ a confinement baby!