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Paris Attacks: OTAs and hotels unite to stimulate the 11th arrondissement

Avoid “the same fate as Tunisia”

Hotels of the 11th district (arrondissement) of Paris worry about a disaffection of their neighborhood after the attacks and protests at the République plaza. They are trying to unite with online travel agencies to stimulate the destination, and are launching a blog to revive the neighborhood’s image.

Rédigé par Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher le Lundi 25 Avril 2016

The new blog of hotels of the 11th district of Paris to revive the neighborhood’s image - DR
The new blog of hotels of the 11th district of Paris to revive the neighborhood’s image - DR
The attacks against Charlie Hebdo. The attacks of November 13, 2015. And now the occupation of the République plaza by the movement Nuit Debout.

Hoteliers of Paris’ 11th district are particularly angry at the bad spell that has been casted on their neighborhood.

Exceptional situations require exceptional measures.

On Monday April 18th, 2016, Zyad Si Hocine, Director of Grand Hôtel Français, met with the hotel unions and online agencies to take stock of the situation and to find solutions.

“We must unite our strengths to revive the image of our destination.”

A rather rare and sacred union between partners who are at best used to staring stonily at each other, or at worst to fighting in a dynamic of competition.

Hotels launch Paris East Village

But today, the situation is gloomy. Faced with a drop in demand, many hoteliers are lowering their rates.

A disastrous strategy, not only for the finances of these small companies, but also for the image of the destination.

“How will they manage to raise their rates once the crisis will pass?” asks Julie Palisse, from JPS, an advising company in hotel strategy.

Especially since making promotional offers is not efficient to erase the fear.

“I contacted several tour-operators who tell me that clients are afraid of sojourning with us,” ensures Sooruth Sookun, Executive Director of Relais de Paris Hôtels Collection.

“This is an emergency, we must act quickly, if not we will suffer the same fate as Tunisia,” exclaims Zyad Si Hocine. In this respect, he recently launched a blog named Paris East Village.

A platform with contents aimed at highlighting the neighborhood’s image, by showcasing its restaurants, history, and businesses.

How to counteract the fall in the average price?

To better evaluate the scale of the disaster, three online agencies participated in this conference.

Booking (co-organizer), Expedia and Hotelbeds, revealed quantified studies as well as advices on how to boost demand.

Booking estimates that the average price of the last semester dropped by 7% in the 11th district, versus 5 to 6% in the remainder of the city. This drop is the highest in terms of American, Brazilian, and Russian travelers.

The agency recommends to focus on the leisure clientele, that account of 3/4 of the business, by offering deals that include breakfast or half-board formulas.

As for businessmen, it offers to provide them with additional services, like free parking, airport shuttle or early check-in. These measures are less costly than a deal on the price of the room.

The website also hopes to launch a communications campaign on the city of Paris.

At Expédia, the average price dropped by 12% in the 11th district, while it is declining by 8% in all of Paris. The month of April was catastrophic (-20%) and reservations on the months of July and August are already late.

The website is going to launch a 10% discount on Parisian hotels during two weeks to try to boost demand. “We have around twenty people who are working on the Parisian pole. We are worried,” explains one of the representatives.

At Hotelbeds, the situation is less somber, but the drop of prices is still very present, between 3 and 12% of the prices depending on the hotel categories.

Hotel unions mobilized to protect the profession

Faced with the financial difficulty of some members, Didier Chenet, President of the Synhorcat urges hoteliers to not give up. They can request deadline extensions to the BPI and banks.

He incites them to reach the contact person responsible for questions concerning social and tax charges in Bercy, and to see the Commercial Court for safeguard proceedings. “Don’t wait until it’s too late. There are solutions in place to overcome this.”

On its end, the UMIH is launching a new battle against the sharing economy platforms.

To protest against the agreement between Abritel-HomeAway (Expedia group) and the UEFA for the Euro 2016, the union beckons its members to boycott the payment of the tourist tax during the competition.

The money will be deposited in the accounts of the UMIH meanwhile, until the platform is imposed the same regulations as hoteliers.

A financial boycott that would deprive the ten host cities of the sporting events of 7.5 million euros.

Something to incite them to reconsider.

Attentats Paris : OTAs et hôteliers s'unissent pour relancer le 11ème arrondissement

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