«For the majority of families, not having a swimming pool, this disqualifies the choice of a camping»

ENTERTAINMENT – In a tourist sector in search of sobriety, the camping tent is diversifying all the while dramatically reducing water and energy consumption, as explains Nicolas Dayot, president of the FNHPA.

In a period of inflation, this is one of the sectors of tourism that could point to gaming. The plein air hotel, also known as camping, announcements figures records for 2023, with 141 million nights reserved on the territory, that is +4,4% compared to the previous year and +9,3% compared to 2019, the year before the Covid crisis. Excellent results that could be similar for the year 2024, even if the Fédération National de l’Hôtelerie plein-air (FNHPA) remains cautious. ,The problem of purchasing power and the departure rate of the French modests may come to temper the figures, even if they should be at the same level as in 2023». analyze son president Nicolas Dayot from Figaro.

Another element could have an impact on the sector: the climatic deregulation. Les Pyrénées-Orientales have known an unprecedented drought for two years. La Côte d’Azur is now regularly in the prey of canicles, Without counting the fact that other departments might have been affected this year. A situation far from being ignored at the campsites, which they themselves describe as «meteo-sensitive». Unfortunately, they must adapt to simultaneously satisfy their clientele and respond to the challenges of energy sobriety. This is what the FNHPA reveals in its latest report.

LE FIGARO – You affirm that access to a swimming pool is one of the indispensable criteria in the choice of a camping. Comment: Do you take into account this requirement, since many departments are aware of security problems?

Nicolas Dayot – For the majority of families, not having a swimming pool, this disqualifies the choice of a camping. A family with children always asks for one. Near swimming pool, without reservation. This is not the main object of water consumption. This represents 15% of the total consumption of camping. The first post, these are the accommodation and the sanitary facilities. When a modern camping is performant, they are equipped with good misters, effective shower heads and used water recovery systems. The modern pools have more performant filters, less water consumers during lavage operations. A modern and comfortable camping is more economical in water than a camping which has not been modernized for fifteen years. And the first category represents 3500 campings in France, which accounts for 3/4 of the frequency. Another important point: when there is a camping with thousands of clients and when there is a pool, this latter is more used than a private pool.

Nicolas Dayot, president of the Fédération nationale de l’hôtelerie de plein air

Comment the camping sector is overcoming the challenges of energy sobriety?

We are a profession very engaged in the ecological transition, because we often find it in places with a high environmental value. Our objective is to reduce water consumption globally, to pass 28 to 22 million cubic meters nationally. We have proposed to Christophe Béchu (ministry of ecological transition, NDLR) A national plan of action for an economical management of water in the campings. The idea is that the six water agencies can support us collectively to massively scale the economies in the very short term. It takes a simple method to implement in the camping. This passes through technical measures such as the reuse of used water, the detection of leaks with the placement of intelligent computers in the canalisations of campings… This plan of action national is currently on the bureau of l’administration. The idea is to find one modus vivendi To deploy around 7500 French campings, including those that do not have a commercial ecotourism designation.

Are there more precise measurements for destinations with an important hydraulic stress?

Dans les Pyrénées-Orientales, we have started efforts last year to reduce water consumption by 30% in a few weeks during the summer. There was no need to add irrigation to the green spaces, but to recover the water from the pools… These engagements will be renewed this year. The profession signed a charter of engagement last week with the prefect of Pyrénées Orientales. Nationally, we have the same ambition, and this includes the territories where water is less scarce.

« Since ten years, the regions of the northern half are increasing more rapidly in terms of frequency than the regions of the southern half. This transhumance is in part linked to climatic change, with cooler temperatures in the Hauts-de-France, the Normandie and the Brittany. ,

Nicolas Dayot, director of the FNHPA

What is the impact of climatic deregulation on the camping sector?

Climate change redistributes the maps in terms of flux. Since ten years, the regions of the northern half have been increasing more rapidly in terms of frequency than the regions of the southern half. This transhumance is in part linked to climatic change, with cooler temperatures in the Hauts-de-France, the Normandie and the Brittany. The improvement in the quality of the offer in the northern half and also for some. However, the southern half represents 2/3 of the national attendance. Climate change or near, the South will remain the champion, because it is the one that has the most tourist attractions and can host the most of the world. And just like that we can create more new campings for environmental issues, there will never be as many camping places in the North as in the South.

The 4 and 5 stars represent a little more than 20% of the campings in France. This rise in the range is not contradictory with the same principle of camping, which is popular and economical in energy?

Since a few years, French campings have invested as never in improving the quality of their offer. This allows them to return much more equipped and qualitative. But the term «mounted in range» is piégeux. Yes, that’s one, because that’s plus de campings that increase their number of stars, like 2-stars that go to 3, 3-stars that go to 4, etc. The campings 4 stars – which offer covered pools, slides and animated evenings – are very popular among the popular clientele. Some families prefer to go alone, but in establishments where the children want to have fun. The coffee funds for going on vacation are mainly spent in the 4-étoiles. There are two criteria for the popular classes: the littoral, as well as the equipment and services. This increase in the range gives the impression that it welcomes more wealthy clients, but it is not the case, except for the campings 5 ​​stars. Other segments, such as ecotourism campings, where there is no pass d’animation and swimming pool, will welcome populations with more graduates, willing to pay more. These latter often want more experiential accommodations, like cabins in the trees and tents.

The climatic urgency and the fact that camping is considered economical in energy, attracting new clients?

When looking at the criteria for choosing campings for our clients, the environmental question is not a priority. They are looking for a good quality-price ratio, a swimming pool and equipment, proximity to nature and conviviality. Environmental orthodoxy is among the last criteria. However, the campings have a desire to reduce their environmental footprint, even if the clients do not come. Overall, our carbon balance is excellent because most of our clients are on vacation in France.

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