François is the voice behind the Xperientiel podcast, which aims to guide tourism stakeholders to engage in more virtuous activities and approaches. It allows committed actors to express themselves and thus open up a more meaningful tourism for everyone. Ethik Hotels will be featured in a future episode. In the meantime, discover François’ answers to our questions!
Can you introduce yourself and tell us what travel means to you?
I am François Huet, a hotelier by trade, with an international career in hotel management. Today, I am an ambassador for positive tourism and host of Xperientiel the positive tourism podcast and facilitator.
Travel for me is an exploration, a source of inspiration that feeds my natural curiosity to ultimately stimulate my creativity. Or simply to open my mind.
What was the trip that made the biggest impression on you? Why ?
It’s hard to answer this question because each trip brings different emotions depending on my needs or desires at the time. If I have to choose one, it’s San Juan Island in Washington State, just opposite Vancouver Island.
I had joined an orca research centre for 15 days as a volunteer. Every day we went out to sea to observe the orcas to record them, observe their attitude, movement, mortality rates etc. One morning at daybreak, on oily water, we followed a group of orcas for several hours with the sound of their blowing in the background. I could feel the vibrations of their breath in my body. It was absolutely magical to see them so close, in their natural environment, swimming calmly, confidently and feeling that connection.
If we take the time to observe nature, it offers us unique spectacles that touch us deeply and reconnect us to the essential. The Present.
How do you see post-Covid tourism?
A Cocktail of hope and worry. When I see how the activity has resumed in a hurry without really taking the time to integrate the impacts of the emotional yo-yo that we have all experienced. It’s worrying because I have the impression of observing symptoms close to burn out. Let’s not ignore what we’ve just been through. It’s not over. Then there is hope in a form of positivity which is in my nature. It is not a naive hope but one that I cultivate through my various activities. I see an awareness but also fears to act due to lack of knowledge, understanding of how to do it and failure. To move forward, we need to work together, in cooperation and not in competition, by giving meaning to our activities, to our stakeholders, by integrating our territories, their challenges, our identity to differentiate ourselves and to build quality and unique experiences, even atypical ones.