Sara Thopson - Dec 18, 2007

France is the world’s number one tourist destination, topping all lists for its number of visitors. Perhaps surprisingly, the statistics concerning the country’s hotels do not comply with the country’s popularity as it has been recently revealed that one quarter of France’s 18.000 hotels are in disrepair , 24% of hotel customers complain about the rude and incompetent service and 38% of hotel restaurant customers add to the number of complaints.


Typical complaints are centered around the surly service and horrendous attitude of hotel staff. Many of the complaints come from the numerous British tourists who refuse to put up with the total lackadaisical manner of the French hotel staff. The reason for such poor service lies mostly in the fact that the staff is underpaid, with 45% of hotel workers earning minimum or next to minimum wage.


Complaints similarly tend to surround the décor of the hotels and health and safety issues. Lack of sufficient paintwork is often visible as are marks on the existing paintwork made either by shoes or suitcases. These are perhaps details but the fact that many hotels still lack the appropriate safety equipment is quite an important issue. Indeed, France has lost 1500 hotels in the last decade due to shortages of fire extinguishers and similar equipment. Unless drastic measures are taken, France may well lose the same amount in the next 5 years.


Many tourists also make complaints about poor levels of hygiene and unpleasant odors emanating from French hotel kitchens and bathroom facilities. Noise pollution and lack of sufficient insulation also make regular appearances on the complaint list. It seems that French hotels need to make serious improvements if the country is to maintain its number one status in the world of tourism and deal with the masses of tourists who come to France every year.


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