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Mountain Hotels in France Try to Attract New Guests

News The French Alps always had quite an old-fashioned hospitality sector. Smaller, often family-owned hotels were dominating on the market, but the situation has started changing recently. Many hotels are undergoing transformations as they change owners or old owners decide to expand or renovate them. For decades, hotels in the French Alps were much like urban hotels in France in the 1980s and 90s. However, changes are coming as hotels try to optimize their costs and fit requirements of modern travelers.

Two big players on the market, Club Med and Pierre & Vacances, are interested in opening new bigger sports bases and hotels at ski resorts of the region. For example, Club Med has recently opened a hotel in Les Arcs. It is a modern complex with 433 rooms, various high-end facilities, and premium services. As it is a large hotel complex, it is easier to optimize costs. Another hotel group, Belambra, followed the example and opened a club hotel in the Avoriaz valley that has 250 rooms.

As hoteliers are focused on bigger hotels, it is obvious that they believe in the future of the French Alps and hope that the demand will continue growing. Experts have a similar opinion. As it is mentioned in the latest report by Domaines Skiables de France, the Haute-Savoie region is steadily gaining popularity. The region posted a 3% growth compared to the previous four winters.

An interesting fact – the region is getting more popular with visitors from beyond Europe. This is particularly true about vacationers from China. The launch of the China Ski Academy (a partnership between the French national ski school and Club Med) may be one of the reasons for that. Marketing efforts are also incredibly important. In recent years, hoteliers have been trying to attract vacationers all year round, not only during the peak ski season.

Mountains slowly become a place where visitors not only ski but mostly relax, forget about everyday troubles, and disconnect from the routine. Authenticity, getting back to nature, and quality time together with friends and family are also important traveling trends nowadays. The number of non-skiers is slowly growing in the French Alps – from 9% to 15% within the last ten years. Due to scarcity and location close to popular winter sports areas, luxury mountain hotels are able to achieve great turnovers. It takes them only 130-140 days to reach a full year turnover of same class hotels in Marseille or Lyon. However, not all hoteliers are interested in the luxury segment only. The new Les Deux Alpes hotel by France Hostel combines quality and affordability, and the same applies to Hyatt Centric hotel in La Rosiere – the first hotel by the famous American chain in the region.


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