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Gîtes groups link up to challenge Airbnb

France's top holiday home providers, Gîtes de France and Clévacances, have announced plans to work together to promote ‘quality’ accommodation in a challenge to Airbnb.

With the growth in the market and Airbnb’s arrival they want to combine forces to create a French “champion” for “quality tourism” to recognise visitors’ wishes for a local experience.

Christian Biancaniello of Clévacances said it would “make our territories live even more strongly and work for the satisfaction of holidaymakers and the discovery of our heritage”.

Even working together, however, they are dwarfed by the 400,000 properties Airbnb has on its books in France, although none carry a recognised quality tourism label.

Gîtes de France undertakes €1.1billion of business a year through its network of 42,000 owners of gites and chambres d’hôtes who run 70,000 properties while Clévacances has 20,000 properties on its lists.

Their key is that both have years of customer satisfaction across the country and not just in Paris and major cities.

The partnership will be finalised in autumn when the two groups – which will stay distinct but work together on marketing and promotion – will put forward new package offers on travel and other services.

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