Roots, but wings as well….
By Georges Panayotis, President & CEO - MKG Group
France's good performances on the global tourism scene, but refrain from giving the country the means to develop further and to renew a supply that continues to shrink as the years go by.
markets concerning the interest of resuming construction and completing equipment. To be a mature country with a long tourism history now means being an old country, resting on its laurels and crippled by blocked investment mechanisms.
While opportunities are lacking in France, the natural response is to explore opportunities outside thecountry. Emerging countries, the North African Sun Belt, the Balkans and Central Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East... there is no shortage of territory for pioneers that have lost hope for a dynamic strategy in France. They export their enthusiasm, their will, their risk taking,... and their constructions. While employment in tourism cannot be relocated, as ministers whose vision is blurred by their shortsightedness are wont to repeat, projects and tourists can move about easily.
The world of tourism is not waiting for France to wake up and our hoteliers are right to go capture theflows that will otherwise escape us. The hotel industry follows economic cycles and accompanies the rise in strength of new powers. Now is the time to take a position. Anglo-Saxon groups have understood this and as they are very - too much so - involved on their own national territories, they are willing to rapidly accelerating the establishment of their brands all around the world. Our French hoteliers have as much legitimacy, and even much more, for development in Africa, Asia or Latin America... but this is not a reason to neglect the foundations.
In order to take off with no fear of turbulence, the wings must be strong and the connection to theroots must remain solid. The two approaches are complementary for securing growth. The time for takeoff is now! Not giving national champions the means to strengthen themselves even at their roots means dealing them a hard blow. Will the new minister of Tourism, who already made a strong impact on the players of the digital economy, be able to understand the challenges of this industry that is just as vital to growth? We are waiting impatiently to hear her first pronouncements during the Strategic Forum on Tourism.
And so what if intentions remain good but no energy or action moves them! Once again we will moveforward with no support from the government, just as the first pioneers of our industry did when they opened new territories in the hotel and catering industries. We must learn to rely only on ourselves. Any positive intervention will come as a good surprise.