A Welcome Change
Friday 22nd April 2011
A Welcome Change
Michel Fernet - Vice President EHMA – Gives His Point of View of France’s New Classification System
Over the past year, hotels in France have been faced with the onset of new rules and regulations that are for many a “double edged sword”. This said, there are other zones in Europe that are seen by many as being in dire need of a similar kind of shake-up. We asked EHMA’s “French Specialist”, Michel Fernet to tell us more about the changes to France’s classification system.
It’s true that there have been many changes and they have all been necessary. There were inconsistencies between hotels and the hotels guests couldn’t have a precise idea of where they were staying. It was thus necessary to have new regulations so that customers could indeed find the right place and hotel.How has your establishment faced up to the new classification?
The French hoteliers are happy with the classification system. What we’ve observed in France is that many independent hoteliers are happy to go from three stars to four stars. Concerning the chains and groups, it’s a different strategy. They had to make decisions… for example the Accor Group is having to ensure that all the hotels have the same level of classification to meet customer’s expectations within each brand.How important do you feel it is that hotel classification be clarified and standardised across Europe?
I think it’s important that Europe is a real economic union. Personally, I’m not too optimistic about it however as there are many regional differences. Some people would be happy if their guests could know exactly what to expect, but each economic system is different, so this complicates matters. I would say though that it’s a very noble idea to have one system, because if they have done it successfully in other areas, it would be logical that it could work out here in the long run.The website classementhotelier.org has helped countless hoteliers come to grips with the new rules in France. Do you think something like this would be useful on a European scale?
The classementhotelier.org website is very efficient and the same type of website should be applied on a European level. An online diagnostic tool is, in my opinion, one of the most diplomatic and efficient ways for hotels to improve their classification.