Blog / Généralité tourisme durable / How do the French intend to travel in 2021?

How do the French intend to travel in 2021?

juin 23, 2022
Photo portrait de Clarice Lasemillante  sur fond noir vétue d'une marinière noire à rayure blanche
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On May 25, I received, during a live on our Instagram account, Clarice Lasemillante from the agency Interface Tourism. I invite you to discover below the transcript of our exchanges and at the end of it the complete video (beginning of the exchanges at 5 minutes 10).

Thank you Clarisse for being present for this first live and thank you all for your presence.

To give you a little background on Clarisse, for those of you who have been following the account for some time, we were supposed to go to Guyana together with the Guyanese tourism committee in April. Due to the circumstances we did not go but, in fact, we still had the meeting in

visio. I found Clarisse's presentation really interesting and I thought that it could also interest you.

It's time to start this. What I suggest is that if you have any questions, ask them in the chat and we'll deal with them at the end, which will make the presentation more fluid. Also stay with us until the end, Clarisse has prepared a great document, so I'll try to share it at the end if I can (I don't have all the live skills yet).

Ethik Hotels (EH) To begin with, I'm going to let Clarisse introduce herself and present Interface Tourism to us a little.

Clarice Lasemillante (CL) Thank you very much for the invitation, so it's a real pleasure to be able to share a little about the trends in tourism in France. Thank you in any case those who have responded to this event. Indeed, it's a first for you, it's also a first for me because I had never done a live Instagram so there is always a first time!

So I'm Clarisse Lasemillante, I work in the agency Interface Tourism. For those who don't know Interface Tourism, it's a communication agency specialized in tourism and we work with institutions

We work with institutions, mainly tourist offices and ministries of tourism, who want to develop their marketing communication strategy on the French market, but also on a European level, since we also have offices in the different main markets in Europe. We will also accompany private actors, such as hoteliers, companies, and receptives in their promotional activities on the market.

This is a brief presentation of Interface Tourism and I'll just add that we decided at the end of 2020 to structure our consulting activity, since we've been on the market for almost twenty years and we also do consulting to assist players with certain analyses and studies. We decided to launch a brand called Interface Tourism Insight last year and at the same time we developed a platform called ETIM which will allow us to collect data on European travelers and it is thanks to this data that I was able to present you these ten major trends for the year 2021.

EH - You are going to present us the fruit of a study that you carried out at the beginning of the year and can you tell us, before going into detail, how these data are collected? How is this analysis done?

CL - No, not at all, in fact it's a survey that we sent to twenty thousand travelers in Europe and 3000 more precisely in France.

twenty thousand travelers. We asked them about many things, we asked them about their vacation budget, we asked them when they plan to go on vacation again, how they book their vacations, who they travel with. A whole questionnaire that was elaborated at the European level was sent to these travelers and then we integrated all these data on a platform that is online and that allows us to collect different information: whether it is to make a competitive analysis on certain destinations, to make a study of the image or simply to understand, in fact, the behavior of travel.

EH - It's very interesting when you have done it over several years because we can see the evolutions. Already this year, what you have presented to us is very rich. So, according to the first analyses of this year, you've managed to highlight ten trends It's very interesting to be able to share these ten trends with everyone and if there are Ethik Hotels connected with us, to see if they too feel the same thing in the reservations. So that's interesting. To see if travelers also feel the same way. So there you have it, I'll let you present these ten trends in tourism.

CL - Thank you and I will just complete the different trends that I am going to present to you by the fact that I have also integrated different studies that have been carried out during the year, whether it is a study that was carried out by booking.com in October last year or more recently this morning an expedia study that was unveiled on what travelers want in 2021.

It is the result of our ETIM platform but it is also the result of different studies that allow us to see that there are ten major travel trends and finally it is true that the year 2020 is a bit complex, it has been difficult for many of us.

of us.

The first thing to remember for 2021 is that the French want to travel. There is a real need to travel. We are tired of staying at home, we want to see what is happening elsewhere and this can be read in the studies that have been done recently, in particular a study that was done by Booking which said that 59% of the French people want to travel.

This can be seen in the studies that have been carried out recently, in particular a study carried out by Booking which said that 59% of French people are eager to travel again, so this is really revealing.

EH - To bounce off the Booking study I read that people would rather go on vacation than be promoted in their jobs actually.

CL - It's true that this is the fed up I think. It is the fact of having been confined and then deconfined and then reconfined that makes, I think, that the French are a little fed up and indeed travel remains one of the priorities of the French in 2021 and that is rather good for us who are in the dance in the sector.

EH - So you know where all these French and Europeans want to travel?

CL - Well, recently we questioned the tourism professionals because they are the ones who are in front of the client. We asked them in April to find out which destinations the French were most interested in this summer and it turns out that France is still number one, of course, but European destinations are also very popular with the French.

France is still number one, of course, but European destinations are also very popular with the French, particularly Spain, which is still the number one destination, followed by Greece, Portugal and Italy.

EH - It's under the sun. There are some major trends that stand out.

CL - There is indeed a real need for sun, for the sea, quite simply there is a real quest to be by the sea in a natural environment totally preserved from mass tourism. It's true that nature-related activities stand out a lot in our studies, whether in France or abroad, and even in long-haul destinations, nature and the beach remain the two most popular experiences.

EH - Okay, so this is interesting for those who are in these regions. It's an opportunity to put themselves forward, to highlight the characteristics of their territory. In terms of budget, did you have any information that has come to light?

CL - So, in terms of budget, what is rather encouraging for us is that the vacation budget has been very little impacted in 2020, since in our studies we were able to see that 45% of the French said that their travel budget would remain unchanged. What you should also know is that the people who could not travel in 2020 will also have a more comfortable budget for 2021. Maybe it includes choosing a destination that is a little more exotic, a little more expensive, but the only thing we've noticed that's different is that travelers will be looking for the best value. It is extremely important to be able to propose an offer that is interesting both in terms of quality but also in terms of price and then overall.

EH - Is there any feedback on Post Covid tourism yet? Things that will be directly related to that?

CL - So overall, what is interesting to see is that one of the elements that will be important, in any case, in the choice of destinations later on, will be health security. That is to say that French travelers will avoid destinations that do not have a clear sanitary protocol in place. They will turn to accommodations that will be very transparent about the measures that will be put in place in terms of health, in terms of reception and also in terms of hygiene.

So it's really important, at least for hoteliers, to stand out from the crowd and to highlight all the efforts they have made to limit the spread of the virus within their establishment.

interesting thing that only 16% of the French will accept to submit to quarantine measures to travel to destinations. So it's true that nowadays travel is also synonymous with escape, freedom, we don't necessarily want to find ourselves

blocked for 15 days in a lifetime, but in the end you get ripped off and 15 days of vacation every month

EH - I have written an article that I update every month on destinations where you can travel without quarantine. We already don't have much vacation time so if on top of that we don't have to go out. So even if the hotel is nice but getting out of it is still a little less fun. But I saw that there were

I would like to know if this is a question that you are asked when we book with you: what sanitary protocol do you put in place? I don't know yet if it has any influence today. Feel free to share your experience, it would be interesting to know. We know it's an important thing but if we go so far as to ask the question, it would be interesting to know.

So we had to do five points on trends already. So the others on the organization, that kind of thing, the points that stand out that are important to take into account?

CL - Yes, after that, I'll come back to the last point I just mentioned in terms of health, which is important today when we look at the news, because it's true that we thought for a long time that once the vaccination program was put forward, it would make things easier, it would speed up things for travel abroad. In fact, studies have shown that 38% of French people say they are ready to travel as soon as they are vaccinated. The vaccination campaigns are

The vaccination campaigns are finally quite positive for tourism in any case. On the other hand, an important point to underline, which was indicated by many tourism professionals in April, is that they consider that a destination which makes vaccination compulsory to travel in its territory could be a brake on their customers, so it is 50% of the professionals we contacted (250 professionals answered this survey). There is both the fact that we want to vaccinate but at the same time the clients do not necessarily want this to be the only condition to enter

EH - Was this already the case when it was vaccines such as yellow fever, anti-malaria treatment?

CL - It was, we'll say, for certain destinations. Of course, when mandatory vaccines are required to travel to a country, there are a few fewer visitors than there should be. But this is much more important because it is a new vaccine and there are also controversies about certain vaccines. It's a bit complicated

EH - that's interesting, I wouldn't have thought the proportion was so large so okay and so I had noted points about organization, about organization time, things that had changed?

CL - Yes, these are things that have changed a lot in 2020 and that I think will remain in 2021. We have noted an increase in last minute reservations, but this is really linked to the fact that there is a certain amount of uncertainty, a reopening, So today we are lucky to have a three-stage deconfinement schedule, which allows us to have some visibility on the opening of tourism, but at the beginning of the year it's true that we had to navigate a bit at a glance and that accelerated things in 2020 and 2021. In 2020 and for 2021, the trend remains the same: last-minute reservations and customers who will take 96 hours, 72 hours or even 48 hours to make a decision before leaving, even for long-haul destinations that used to take six months to book before leaving. This is no longer the case.

This is no longer the case, so we are taking advantage of an opportunity to travel.

Recently, the announcement of President Emmanuel Macron has created a desire to leave. I know that, for example, the operator Lidl Voyages announced that 60% of last minute reservations were made in one week. This is all to say that there is always a desire to travel and that the French are waiting for this to book and leave

on dates that are ultimately very short.

EH - By the way, Audrey mentioned the PCR tests. The problem we encounter is that clients have to take a test even though they have had their two doses. This is an additional obstacle but it will be regulated. I think that we are still in phases where everything has to be put in order and

I think that we are still in phases where everything has to be put in order and here it is in the implementation phase, but I think that this last minute I have seen it on my small scale on the traffic of the site: when there were dates of exit from the territory immediately it increased and then afterwards, nothing against the bridges were finished, it fell back.

CL - So this requires more flexibility from the service providers. More flexibility on the capacity to review the reservations but also on the level of the cancellation conditions and the different insurances because it's true that now when we travel we will also look at

What are the cancellation and reimbursement policies of the service providers. This is a real trend in any case for the year 2021: the French are paying more attention to the cancellation conditions and are going to subscribe more to insurances in order to avoid any closure that would not be foreseen beforehand. This requires flexibility from all partners, whether they are hoteliers, airlines, tour operators, travel agencies or, in fact, all the links in the chain.

EH - Of the blow after but we have a choice that we are 8 on 10 on the tendencies. I had noted so as not to forget. I had noted the telework.

CL - Yes, exactly, so this is a phenomenon that is booming, what we call telework, which does not concern a large majority of French people, of course, but in any case we note that between 2019 and 2020 the number of teleworkers has increased considerably and that companies are thinking more and more about this option of telework. Finally, what we have seen, and moreover there is a study that has been

There was a study carried out by opinionway which said that a third of executives were considering moving to a place that was usually reserved for vacations to work. This is quite a significant figure. And in parallel to all this, we have seen that destinations, territories wanted to attract these nomadic workers with the implementation of long term visas, and there are also accommodation providers who offer formulas to generate long stays.

We have also seen some agencies, some tour operators who have also started to develop packages that combine both work and travel, so if this is a real trend to watch closely over the long term. It doesn't concern everyone because it's true that it's difficult for a family to go to the other side of the world with their children, but it will concern couples without dependent children, young people who will be a little more mobile than families for example.

EH - And so the last trend that concerns us more is to limit the impact. Can you tell us more about this?

CL - So the last trend, it's not a definite order, it's actually limiting one's impact on the environment, so this is a real trend that we see and that is accelerating in any case with the pandemic. There are several studies that show that travelers would consume in a more responsible way after the pandemic. The preservation of nature, of the environment, are extremely important concerns for them, but that's not all, since the French also expect the tourism industry to offer more sustainable options in their travel packages. People want to travel, they are looking for meaning in their travels and it is true that the environment is part of the concerns of the French people.

EH - As you did a European study, because we're talking about French trends, are there any differences between French and European travelers? Because we also receive a lot of Europeans, so it's interesting for the next vacation to know what the others are expecting? If there are no striking differences in particular?

CL - There are very few studies on these differences between the different markets, but I can tell you that the French are among the tourists who have a much higher environmental awareness at the European level, but it is true that there are very few studies on this. I had seen some that dated from 2018, that's quite old!

EH - So it will be interesting to have the evolutions when you have several years of studies. We're looking forward to reading that.

CL - Speaking of the profile of the French traveler who believes that sustainable development is a determining factor in the choice of a destination, this is an important element for us. We want to know who this person is. There is no study that exists today, so I used our platform to identify who this consumer is.

Today, in fact, it represents one French person out of three who believes that sustainable development is one of the determining criteria in the choice of a destination. It is something that is extremely important. Finally, we can't imagine! And it is mostly women, 52% of them. And in terms of household composition, what is also important to note is that it is mainly couples or singles without dependent children. 50% are couples without children, 41% are singles without children and only 8% are families with children under 17.

EH - That's pretty representative. We need to communicate with these families to tell them that they too can travel more responsibly and that it won't necessarily be more complicated. Because they may imagine that it involves more complex logistics. But in fact for those who are listening to us and even for me for Ethik Hotels, it is necessary to think about more targeted communications for these families, to tell them that it is not more complicated to travel responsibly even with children. It won't be more complex and they will still be able to have as much fun. Maybe there are unconscious brakes on this but it's an interesting point.

In any case, I think it will be interesting to see the evolution. I just saw that Rayons de Sologne asked if there was a figure on the percentage of people who want to give meaning to their work. the question.

Valerie also tells us that people think that it will necessarily be more expensive and in fact it is not true. So we must all continue in this direction and say that it is not more expensive, more complicated and not necessarily a revolution in their daily life.

CL - Indeed, it is often the price that is presented, and then the complexity of being able to set up a responsible trip is also due to the lack of knowledge of some agencies, some tour operators who make it difficult for people to understand the issues. agencies, some tour operators that makes it difficult.

EH - So you have identified responsible travel in specific regions?

CL - Indeed, what we noticed is that these responsible travelers are often found in the big cities, especially in the Ile de France (it represents 20% of the responsible travelers) and then in second position it is the Auvergne and Rhône Alpes regions

AC - Thank you Parc St Symphorien for saying that for all this there is Ethik Hotels !

You've managed to identify preferences on accommodations. This may be of interest to those who are connected.

CL - Indeed, we managed to identify the top 5 accommodations for responsible travelers. Without much surprise, we will say that the number one choice is to sleep with family or friends, the number 2 is to be able to rent accommodation from private individuals, the number 3 is bed and breakfast, then vacation homes, and finally the choice of an independent three or four star hotel.

EH - So, just to make the parallel for the vacation home, because the question was asked during the conference, it's a secondary residence, in fact it's a residence that you already own, unlike the vacation home.

EH - Someone asks how long they are responsible? Is this something you have today to study?

CL - No, it's not something we've been able to study. We may be able to see it in future studies. We could even do a dedicated study!

EH - Tell us if you have any particular questions or if we have answered your questions? Oh, we forgot to mention that it was a real desire to travel responsibly. It was a strong commitment and many things were put in place.

CL - Yes, it's true that there has been an evolution in the tourism sector in terms of sustainable tourism in recent years. At the beginning, it was mainly, and I'm talking about the tour operators, it was mainly tour operators specialized in adventure, trekking, who were aware of this theme. Today, in fact, mentalities have totally changed and we can see that even generalists like TUI, voyageurs du monde, generalist tour operators are also getting involved in sustainable development. A real awakening of

awareness.

EH - I'm bouncing back to Voyageurs du Monde. If some of you here have subscribed to the newsletter, or if you haven't yet, Jean-François Rial, who is the CEO of Voyageurs du Monde, who have a major approach, all their trips are offset, has agreed to answer my "five questions to..." theme, so it will be in the next newsletter. I was really happy that he accepted to spend some time. Because in addition to being president of Voyageurs du Monde, he is also president of the Paris tourist office. He must not have a lot of time in his agenda and I was very happy to share his answers with you in June.

CL - All this to tell you that there is a real willingness on the part of tour operators to commit themselves to this approach and we have also witnessed in the last few years the appearance of agencies specialized in sustainable tourism. There are more and more of them

more and more. There is one that started last year in the middle of the crisis! There are also others that are really specialized in a sustainable offer.

EH - So there is a department of Sologne which asks if we have an idea to convince the communities to support a sustainable local project in front of a project of a big tourism chain.

To resituate, rayon de Sologne, it's a couple who just moved to the center of France to create a responsible accommodation, it's a whole life around this project. They are looking for a lot of ideas.

CL - I think that it is necessary to contact the local authorities, to see with the tourist offices in the different regions, to present the project. I think that today sustainable tourism is a theme, it is a subject that is in the news and that can seduce people.

I think that today sustainable tourism is a theme, it is a subject which is topical and which can seduce precisely these territories and destinations in the case of future developments. We see many destinations, many cities that want to get away from mass tourism, not only in France but also internationally, and they will focus on

on much more local projects and develop this branch. So, in any case, I encourage them to contact us to present their project and I hope that it will be successful.

EH - I was going to say like you for the tourist office. It is necessary to show a cohesion, perhaps also with people who propose activities, around this project and that it is going to make live locally the region and it is perhaps that which will be able to make the difference with the human side perhaps.

perhaps. Finally, your project is very broad and it is very interesting, so it is sure that if you say you already have partners, it will have more impact, for sure, by grouping you. All this can really change the game with local communities. That's my vision, at least, and it's also Clarisse's vision.

Do you have any other questions? There is Hélène who thanks us for sharing these moments. It boosts her and reassures her in her project. We are delighted to reassure you and that this exchange suits you.

Thank you for your participation so I'll put a link in the comment and it may also be in the first comment once the video is published on Instagram because I think I'll

I think I will never be able to record it live. Clarisse has put together a document to recap all of this if you want to share it with your teams and loved ones. It's a document that's about 30 pages long with all this information.

I will also put a small link if you want to give me your feelings on this first live, well here is what you want us to do other, if you want us to invite people specifically, if

if you want us to invite specific people, if you want Clarisse to dig up some subjects to come back next time. So don't hesitate, it will be your free expression, it will be the moment. In any case before having your feedback I have already planned a second live in three weeks. We talked about 2021, we will talk about the future of tourism in 2030 with Armelle Solelhac. She did a prospective study on tourism in ten to fifteen years, so it will allow us to make the link between now and tomorrow and start to prepare because I think there are really things to do and it's time to reinvent ourselves, so here we will try to accompany you in this transition, give you the maximum information.

That's why you shouldn't hesitate to tell me and Clarisse so that we can all move forward together in the new tourism.

Anyway, thank you again to all of you for attending this evening, I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you Clarisse for taking the time to present all this to us. For all those who arrived during the course, the replay will be in the IGTV and I give you an appointment on June 2nd at 7pm with Armelle.

See you then!

Link to download the documentation made by Clarice : https://fabulous-leader-61.ck.page/b813ab99f8

Link to subscribe to the newsletter : https://fabulous-leader-61.ck.page/10183283c9

Link to the satisfaction questionnaire: https://forms.gle/rSSynmrxT25iDxcG9

Anne Chéné
CEO