Many people who live in France or other European countries think of getting away from the rat race and start their own business in the hospitality industry. This dream has been a successful reality for many entrepreneurs, who have bought a property in France with extra accommodation, so they can let it out as a gite for holidaymakers. The beauty of this plan is that not only do they have a sound investment in the actual property itself, but also a business to bring in revenue. But there is confusion of what actually constitutes a gite.
What Is a Gite?
A gite is a short-term holiday home for self-catering tourists. Gites come in all forms and sizes and could include a house, cottage or an apartment. Nearly all gites are self-catering but the owner can provide extra services such as laundry, cleaning, and bed linen. The humble gite has come a long way from the old country-style rustic accommodation, and now they can be charming converted farms or chic city pads.
Owning a gite is a professional activity and the owner will have to register the business with the Registre du Commerce. If the gite business is not the primary activity of the owner, then it can also be registered as a non-professional activity called Louer Meunle Non Professionnel. Professional and legal fees for setting up and running your gite business must be factored into your financial plan. By the same token you will have to calculate for maintenance, insurance, tax, and the required equipment that will be needed
New or Old?
Whilst gites offer great business opportunities there are factors that have to be considered before taking the plunge. The first question that must be addressed is, if it is better to buy an ongoing business or should you start from scratch? This is really a catch twenty-two, saving money buying a renovation project might be better than buying the goodwill of an existing business. This is a question that needs careful consideration.
Will the Income Be Worth the Effort?
Before rushing into any business, you need to make sure you have done your sums correctly, is the gite business simply additional pin money making the most use of a spare building, or is it going to be the main source of income that will sustain your life and pay all the bills. The gite business is like any other, it suffers from fierce competition in the hospitality industry. Most big hotel chains now offer a budget type alternative, and have the muscle to market these cheap hotel chains widely. The gite business is literally a cottage industry full of individual private owners who market their properties is small magazines and on social media.
Taking on a gite business you will have to be prepared to work hard to get the holidaymakers through the doors, once they come to your gite you must give the best possible service and attention, over and above what a hotel can offer. If you work hard at the business, then there is no doubt that running a gite can be financially worthwhile. And operating such a business can reap great rewards and also be fun.