The classification of French hotels, which currently ranges from one to five stars, will be modernized and adapted to changes in the sector to include the growing offer of "collective hostels" and better value efforts in sustainable development, announced Atout France, the French Tourism Board.
As a result of the "partnership work" in recent months between Atout France, which promotes the French tourist destination abroad, and the professional organizations of the hotel and restaurant industry (GNI, Umih, GNC), "measures concerning the hotel classification will be announced as part of the plan to win back tourism," announced Guillaume Lemière, director of legal and regulatory affairs at Atout France.
The details of the plan will be unveiled soon. The classification of hotels will be "modernized, adapted to innovations in the supply and changes in the sector". The new system may come into effect in April next year, if the government passes the relevant measures, according to Guillaume Lemière.
Thus, the criteria of sustainable development, digitization of certain services (check-in) or new uses (hotel as a workspace) should now be taken into account. Also, seasonal rentals should be classified as well. The new sustainable development criteria will be "attainable and accessible".
New trends in the development of hotel projects should be integrated, such as taking into account the "sharing" of services and facilities such as a swimming pool, spa or restaurant by two nearby hotels.
As for the innovative and booming offer of "collective hostels" frequented by a young clientele, it should be the subject of a "new classification" as well, explained the Atout France manager.
While "87% of hotel rooms are classified in France" - a voluntary process, as hoteliers can refuse to be classified -, Mr. Lemière recalled, the classification "remains a tool for identifying the level of comfort, equipment and services" of establishments, he said, but it should be modified to better highlight the recent developments in the current accommodation offer.