HomeFRANCEFrance launched "AIRBNB" for tourism services

France launched “AIRBNB” for tourism services

The Alentour platform, launched last week, will allow tourists to find and book activities or tour services near their destination.

The Banque des Territoires announced that it has launched a new website Alentour, where travelers can find a catalog of leisure activities near their hotel, rented apartment or campsite that can be booked on their smartphone.

“15 years ago we were swept by the Tripadvisor revolution, then a decade ago by the revolutionary Booking.com and then Airbnb … It would be nice if digital innovation came from time to time from France, the world’s leading travel destination,” said Olivier Cichel. Director of the Banque des Territoires.

Alentour allows travelers to receive a personalized text message or email when they book a hotel or upon arrival at their destination, indicating a complete list of possible activities and travel services available nearby, which can be quickly booked via their smartphone.

Founded in May 2020 by the government as part of an incentive plan, most of the platform is owned by the Banque des Territoires and is led by Timothy de Roux, former CEO of Abritel HomeAway (Expedia Group), while Amadeus owns the rest of the capital, while Amadeus and Dawex act as technology partners.

Through the platform, tourist accommodation facilities – hotels, campgrounds, tourist residences, … – and institutions – tourist offices, regional tourism committees – can offer travelers a wide range of tour services and activities in the immediate vicinity.

By scanning a QR code at their hotel or tourist office, travelers can avoid collecting the many paper brochures that quickly become outdated. Hotels can advise guests on nearby leisure activities using an interactive geolocated map.

“We realized that tourists are increasingly interested in activities ranging from visiting the local museum and pony club to playing golf, and that many of these tour services and / or activities have not been digitized,” as opposed to offering accommodation or transportation. notes Olivier Cichel. “It’s not easy to find them.”

Less urban than Airbnb

According to experts in France, “from 120,000 to 150,000 tour service providers with a total business volume of 22 billion euros, of which only 5 to 10% are online orders: the potential is huge,” notes Timothy de Roux.

According to Timothy de Roux, Alentour will immediately stand out from competitors like Booking.com or Airbnb, which are highly urbanized.

The platform has been tested since August on the Cote d’Azur and will gradually be rolled out across France. In addition, according to Timothy de Roux, the services will be charged a “better” commission than “competitors’ market commission of 20 to 35%.”

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