France is a great country of tourism. Often the world’s leading destination for international tourism, it is a land of contrasts, offering all the landscapes: red blood canyons, deep gorges flowing with tumultuous rivers, white sandy beaches, high snow-capped mountains, historical and cultural heritage And to make the best use of its assets, France can count on a diversified and powerful tourism industry , which plays a major role in its economy. But many companies, big and small, play big on “the season”, whether winter or summer. How to make the best of these few months where hordes of tourists invest the place?
An industry with many faces
Whether you are seasonal, the owner of your business or you want to get started, the options are not lacking. It’s a whole universe that revolves around the manna of tourism: hotels, bars and restaurants of course, to feed, water and shelter, but also service of tour guides, rental of vehicles, cars with driver, souvenir shops, photography, museums … The industry is full of opportunities.
And if all these companies have one thing in common, it is that to be profitable, to get the most out of the tourist season, they must prepare.
Upstream work: essential
The season does not begin when tourists arrive. It’s a long time before success or failure . Dealing with an influx of customers is preparing to serve them, to satisfy them, it is to have the stock, the personnel, the ready and the trained, it is to have funds, ready to be invested and managed.
The financial question must of course be at the center of attention. Cash flow management often makes the difference between a successful business, and a business that collapses. Managing your money, paying your suppliers, your staff, getting paid on time, declaring your income to avoid the wrath of the tax authorities are essential steps. There are many tools , online or in the form of programs, to manage cash flow as it should be.
Preparing for the season is also planning . Prepare your premises, with the right equipment: a functioning air conditioning, foggers or heaters on an exposed terrace often make the difference between customer armadas and an empty bar. The decoration must be in focus, to attract the eye and stand out. You must provide adequate stocks according to the influx of tourists, so as not to have too much without missing. Keep up to date with the calendar for all local events , festivals, holidays that bring an influx of tourists. All the details matter, and must be studied in advance.
First class service
Everything is planned down to the smallest detail? It’s time to welcome the customer! At the time of the internet, where everyone can leave their comments, the quality of service is more essential than ever. Your staff must be polite, knowledgeable, and willing to cash in long, intense work hours that often rhyme with seasonal work.
Healing your online presence is also important. More and more tourists prepare their holidays by consulting the net, the returns of each establishment, their web pages … Ensuring good grades, and a real presence on social networks, will attract a lot of people. And then, unlike a classic marketing campaign, the presence on the networks is only inexpensive: you have everything to gain from the care!
French is a complicated language, and most of our compatriots like to abuse it on a daily basis. So when you’re a Chinese tourist, talking about it is almost impossible.
Welcoming tourists , and offloading them to your mutual satisfaction, is also understanding them and making sure they can communicate . You need staff speaking a foreign language, see more. The most essential is of course English, but depending on the location, Spanish, Italian, Russian can still be used. Never neglect the language question in your preparation!
Work & pleasure
The tourist season is a whole lot of small challenges . It is also a time not to be missed for the health of the finances of many businesses. In the end, preparation is the key word. Know your industry, its local specificities, know your customers, and know how to adapt to the economic conditions of the moment. And in all that, do not forget the pleasure! The tourist season is intense, often hard, and when the life of his business is at stake, stressful. But the success of a season also passes by the quality of the service, and the smile of the one who delivers it.