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Idea Overview:
France remains the most popular holiday destination in the world, with 83 million visitors annually contributing 7% to the country’s GDP. However, factors such as competition, ‘self-assembly’ holidays and terrorism have seen growth slow. The gite holiday underpins much of French tourism. It is estimated that there are more than 50 000 gite available across France. It remains a popular retirement and/or life-changing choice (and dream) for many UK citizens, as well as those elsewhere in Europe. Brexit, despite its uncertainty, is increasing the pool of those looking to move. Gite Expo is a series of four exhibitions which take place across France. Each would be for two days, and take place in cities with a strong tourism business. Supporting the exhibition would be a seminar streams for the various segments of the audience.
Who might use it/where it might be used?:
The Gite Expo series is therefore aiming to attract two distinct audiences 1. The larger audience is the many gite owners across France, who want to protect and develop their business 2. The smaller audience is visitors (predominantly UK but elsewhere) who wish to purchase and run a gite 3. An additional audience is those who own a French property who wish to start or develop a more formal part-time holiday rental business
The Market (B2B, B2C or Both):
Both
Sector the idea belongs to:
Business and Professional Services
Why you think there is a demand for your idea?:
The gite holiday underpins much of French tourism. It is estimated that there are more than 50 000 gite available across France. It remains a popular retirement and/or life-changing choice (and dream) for many UK citizens, as well as those elsewhere in Europe. Brexit, despite its uncertainty, is increasing the pool of those looking to move. Currently there are four mainstream ‘French Life’ and “’French Property’ magazines sold through UK newsagents, and several French property and ‘Living’ exhibitions across the UK, indicative of the popularity of a new life in France. However, for those who have made the move, the options are limited. Moreover, there are estimated 250 000 UK residents with French properties, many of whom look to offset the ownership costs through holiday rentals, but who do so in a ‘piecemeal’ manner.
Who would be the ideal customers?:
The Gite Expo series is therefore aiming to attract two distinct audiences 1. The larger audience is the many gite owners across France, who want to protect and develop their business 2. The smaller audience is visitors (predominantly UK but elsewhere) who wish to purchase and run a gite 3. An additional audience is those who own a French property who wish to start or develop a more formal part-time holiday rental business To reach the first section, marketing is achieved through tie-ups with the main gite associations, national and regional tourist boards and relevant publications. (There is also a comprehensive network for British expatriates across France.) Their incentive to attend would be to find out how to protect existing and win repeat business; to find new suppliers for the essential components of running a gite business; and to develop sales and marketing skills. To reach the second, a partnership would be offered with a national newspaper, many of which target the existing and potential expatriate community; along with a low-cost airline, so that packages can be offered (similar to the ‘inspection visits’ offered by some estate agents targeting the UK market). For ‘designated ‘VIP’ visitors, a hosted buyer’ package could be offered.
What ideas do you have to reach these customers?:
Currently there are four mainstream ‘French Life’ and “’French Property’ magazines sold through UK newsagents, and several French property and ‘Living’ exhibitions across the UK, indicative of the popularity of a new life in France. However, for those who have made the move, the options are limited. There are also a number of gite associations. Key would be the involvement fo the intermediary booking agents.
How far have you developed this idea?:
Conversations with the main UK publisher - supportive if we can make the idea stand up financially.
What – if any – feedback have you had for this idea so far?:
See above
What supporting material – if any - would you like to add to your proposal?:
See detailed proposal

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