Quarter of French hotels in disrepair

29th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2007, PARIS - One in four French hotels is in a state of disrepair and 24 percent of customers complain of rude or incompetent service, according to an industry committee which released a report and recommendations Thursday.

29 November 2007

PARIS - One in four French hotels is in a state of disrepair and 24 percent of customers complain of rude or incompetent service, according to an industry committee which released a report and recommendations Thursday.

"One quarter of classified French hotels are aging or delapidated, and one third are nearing the end of their span. Only one hotel in six is considered beyond reproach by customers," said the Committee for Modernisation of the French Hotel Trade.

The committee blamed falling profit margins, changing customer habits, badly-paid staff and conservative management for the poor state of the country's 18,000 officially-classified hotels, and called for their urgent overhaul.

"In a majority of hotels that are older than three years, the lack of maintenance of paintwork, furniture and fittings is perfectly visible... Marks made by shoes and suitcases on walls can stay for years with no sign of a sponge of paintbrush," the committee said.

By far customers' most frequent complaint about hotel rooms is noise and lack of sound insulation, followed by unpleasant smells and poor hygiene, according to the report.

The quality of staff has been badly affected by the poor salaries on offer, it said, with 45 percent of hotel workers on the minimum wage.

"As a result 24 percent of hotel clients and 38 percent of restaurant clients complain of the chronic incompetence of staff, or of a disagreeable or impersonal welcome," the committee said.

As for management, "even if generalisations are unreasonable, the profession suffers from a nervous traditionalism and a deep-rooted conservatism. The trade has reproduced over generations the same patterns of behaviour... and the same mistakes," the committee said.

According to the report, France -- which is the world's biggest tourist destination -- has lost 1,500 hotels over the last decade. Because of new laws on fire safety and access for the handicapped, it is likely to lose a similar number in the next five years.

AFP

Subject: French news

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