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“We take risks” explain tourism professionals

The Easter holidays turn into a puzzle. 19 departments are under containment measures and their inhabitants can in principle no longer leave their department. It is already more than 20 million people who are concerned and the executive could tighten the screw even more in the days to come. With the approach of the holidays, tourism professionals look grim and struggle to organize themselves. In Lacanau, for example, many people do not know whether they are going to have clients and whether or not they should recruit seasonal workers.

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“Ultra last minute” reservations

The director of the Médoc Atlantique Tourist Office, Nicolas Jabaudon, is confident about the arrival of tourists, but the first figures are not encouraging. “For vacation rentals online on major national and international platforms, over the Easter holidays, we are at booking rates of 18-21%. Which is low.” A situation that is not entirely linked to the Covid. “We are in ultra last minute booking trends. The crisis only amplifies this phenomenon,” he explains.

As a result, “the further we advance in the calendar, the less visibility we have. All the announcements are aimed at more restrictions”. Nicolas Jabaudon detects two trends among professionals first “those, like us at the Tourist Office, who, for example, hire seasonal staff. We signed the contracts and there are ten who have arrived. They have started last Monday. And there are others that will arrive in mid-April, “he explains. The other option adopted by “tourist structures, open-air accommodation, for example” is to postpone their opening date, sometimes until May.

Focus on local tourism?

But some decide to take the risk. This is what the Airotel Océan did. This 5-star campsite of just over 9 hectares, with a 5,000 m2 water park is preparing to reopen even if some questions remain. “We are waiting for government decisions to be able to know under what conditions will be able to open the aquatic area, something on which we have no information yet, and access to the spa, sauna, hammam and relaxation area “explains Myriam Vignolles. “We also have seasonal workers who have arrived. We take risks, but we are optimistic to be able to welcome our customers in any case.”

Her optimism is shared by Cécile Braure who has decided to reopen the snow school, which she runs with her husband, on Lake Lacanau, Evolution 2. Stand up paddle, Kyte-Surf, or even bike rental will be available. available to tourists, even locals. “We imagine that the new Aquitaine will come to benefit and that we will do local tourism to start,” she explains. In any case, this is what she hopes for because, “with the Ile-de-France and the Rhône confined, we don’t know until when, we need this clientele to have a suitable Easter holiday” .

The place of seasonal workers in the balance

For her, too, the problem of seasonal workers arises. “We are hiring from April 1 three people. We are asking ourselves the question of the need to hire them in 35 hours or to make smaller contracts. If ever we are forced to close, we will use partial unemployment “, she sums up.

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For these tourism professionals, it is important to be there for their customers but also for the seasonal workers who rely on them. This is all the more true as they will absolutely need it this summer, which pleads in favor of recruiting now.

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