top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Mixed forecasts from gîte owners

Will 2011 be a bumper year for French tourism? Seven readers who run gîtes and restaurants share their experiences

WHILE the official message from the French tourism industry is that 2011 looks set to be a bumper year, with more people choosing to stay in France for their summer break, the reality on the ground is different.

Seven Connexion readers who run gîtes or restaurants shared their forecasts for the coming summer with us - some positive, some gloomy.


My wife and I run a gîte sleeping six, with a heated pool, at Rétaud, Charente Maritime, and have a full summer of bookings. I believe, however, that freezing our prices for the third year running, and adding a promotional discount for 2 week bookings in the mid-season have helped, so in our view, it is neccessary to counter the financial squeeze with intelligent marketing, and that way, we have slightly increased our turnover from last year.

David Barnett


I have been running a small gite in the Périgord Vert for just on 15 years. On average I have been letting between 13 and 17 weeks a year (out of 28 possible ones). Last year was a bumper year with 22 weeks let. So far this year I have bookings for 18 weeks. My clientele is international, this year mainly French and German. One thing, which is "new" that over the last six weeks or so I have had only two or three enquiries, wheras normally at this time I used to get a considerable number of "last minute" enquiries, usually for weeks that are booked already. As far as my bookings are concerned I cannot say that I "feel the pinch" - yet!

U. Chell


We own and run Bar/Restaurant La Cloche in Abjat-sur-Bandiat, near the town of Nontron (Dordogne Perigord Vert). We are now starting our fifth year in France and for the first time since the beginning of the recession have noticed a steady increase in tourism in this area.

Most of rental properties are now becoming fully booked and the camping sites look to be buzzing. In the past month the number of visitors looking to purchase new build property's or plots of land have also risen.

The flow of Brits returning to England has almost stopped with only a few now returning due to health problems. We understand the problems facing the tourist industry is a major factor in the rise, but also understand the cost of holidaying in the UK can far exceed the cost of a French holiday especially if renting a gite with two family's sharing the cost.

The holiday makers are still watching the pennies when eating out ordering fish and chips instead of magret de canard and with the sales of expensive wine being now far out sold by the vin de la maison. We are happy to see the return of the GB sticker being a regular site in our car park.

Shaun & Natasha Burdett-Coutts


We are fully booked this year for the first time in five years of letting.

Steve Brown


We are experiencing by far the worst year in 10 years of running our gîte...we are advertising more than we have in the past and our prices are more than competitive.

We have no bookings at all for the month of June or September with plenty of space in July & August still...

It is our opinion that the cost of fuel,the exchange rate and the increasing cost of living in France generally has put off even the most loyal visitors as there are now
so many good deals to far flung locations offering better value for money.

We are hoping that 2011 is a a one off situation given the financial plight of the English at this time but will need to see what transpires between now and the end of
the season before making any serious decisions for the future.

Gîte owner in Lot valley


I rent out a studio flat in my house. To date zero confirmed bookings for the whole season despite bringing the prices down last year and this!

Three years ago fully booked. Last year only 6 weeks sold all summer. This year - Sahara desert.

All this despite the fact that I am on all the same websites, most free but Particulier a Particulier which I pay for.

Joyce Rousselot


Fewer bookings by now than last year this time.

René P.A. Tolen

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France