The French bed and breakfast (B&B) market, a notable segment within the national tourism industry, continues to experience significant transformations post-2020. While accommodating a discernible share of the tourism sector, B&Bs face increasing competition from other forms of lodging, including hotels and platforms like Airbnb.

The market, primarily composed of numerous small, independent operators, is characterized by an average room occupancy rate of 30% with an average price per night at around 86 euros, potentially leading to an annual revenue of approximately €476.5 million. 

Regulations governing B&Bs outline strict operational rules, including a cap of five rooms per establishment, inclusive breakfast, and mandatory communal living with the owner. Bed and breakfasts are now attracting guests through digital platforms — a strategic shift prompted by regulatory changes and professionalization within the sector.

The French Bed and Breakfast Market: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation

With more than 25,000 establishments offering around 50,600 beds, the French B&B market has surpassed the number of traditional tourist hotels, highlighting its accessibility and appeal. Despite such a vast number of establishments, the average capacity per B&B remains low, suggesting a focus on a niche clientele seeking a personalized and authentic experience. The domestic market for B&Bs in France primarily caters to French tourists, who accounted for 55% of the clientele. Leisure travelers dominate B&B stays, with short durations of one or two nights being the most typical. The market seems to hold strong appeal for foreign visitors as well, who might be seeking an immersive local experience. Interestingly, the segment of international tourists in the B&B market is over-represented compared to their overall percentage of non-resident visitors to France.

Destination preferences among French tourists are diverse, with urban and rural areas being popular choices for holidays, and regions like Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, New Aquitaine, and Occitania emerging as top destinations. Moreover, British, German, and Belgian tourists are identified as the largest international visitor groups, with the majority coming for tourism and cultural experiences. B&Bs in France are not simply substitutes for hotels; rather, they offer a different set of value propositions. B&Bs compete with budget and mid-range hotels while differentiating themselves through unique settings, personal client-owner interactions, and an aura of authenticity. Furthermore, with a market structure characterized by a fragmentation of independent owners, B&Bs vary widely in terms of service quality and customer experience.

Interestingly, B&B owners have not fully optimized online booking platforms, relying more on direct bookings through personal communication channels. Nevertheless, the trend is changing with B&Bs increasingly recognizing the importance of online visibility through review websites and social media activity. Over recent years, B&B offerings have seen an upward trend in terms of both price and value, with owners investing more in their properties and providing additional services to meet rising guest expectations. Nevertheless, a significant number of B&Bs still do not offer any additional services, indicating potential growth opportunities within the market for establishments looking to distinguish themselves.

B&B Establishments in the French Hospitality Landscape

France's bed and breakfast sector boasts an array of establishments that cater to a broad spectrum of preferences, and discerning travelers can choose from rustic charm to luxe abodes. While the segment is large and varied, several B&Bs have made a name for themselves, each with its unique offerings and positioning within the market.

  • La Bretonnière: This B&B stands as a testament to accessible comfort offering a cozy stay within the medium to high-end bracket. With room rates ranging between €40 and €80, guests are treated to a genuine homestay experience. La Bretonnière merges affordability with the allure of authentic French living, presenting a value proposition hard to overlook.

  • Les Botterêts: Cementing itself in the comfortable middle ground with room rates between €58 and €78, Les Botterêts is an establishment that merges modesty with quality. Targeting travelers who seek the balance between price and comfort, Les Botterêts remains an attractive choice for those who wish to enjoy the comforts of a home-like setting without the extravagance.

  • La Sauvageonne: This B&B sets itself apart with its premium pricing, ranging from €93 to €170 per night. Offering an upscale stay, La Sauvageonne is a popular pick for those seeking a touch of luxury and exclusivity. Its positioning appeals to visitors who wish to indulge in more refined experiences close to nature or prestigious wine estates.

  • Mineral Lodge: As an upscale bed and breakfast, Mineral Lodge is at the frontier of luxury in this sector, with rates spanning from €120 to a lavish €550 per night. This establishment is distinguished by its exquisite architectural design and pristine natural surroundings. It's a sanctuary for those willing to invest in an unparalleled retreat, where the setting speaks volumes and the services align with the highest standards of hospitality.

  • Le Clos des Cyprès: Although specific rates are not listed, Le Clos des Cyprès is understood to be an upscale establishment, promising an exceptional stay that transcends ordinary bed and breakfast experiences. This player leverages its luxurious environment and specialized amenities to entice guests looking for a sophisticated escape.

These players, with their diverse price spectrums and unique selling points, cater to a range of customer segments within the B&B market. From traditional to opulent, they offer insight into the various strategies adopted by B&B owners to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive landscape. 

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Tourism is one of the largest sectors in France, accounting for around 7% of the national GDP, or 160 billion euros in turnover for the sector each year.

Although very important in size, the sector has not escaped disruption from new players. While bed and breakfasts had already represented a threat to the hotel industry, the latter is now forced to renew its strategy facing the rise of applications such as Airbnb.

A bed and breakfast is defined as a furnished room in the home of an inhabitant who receives tourists for one or more nights in exchange for a fee. Unlike a lodge, it is not a rental, equipped with a kitchen and a living room.

While the number of guest rooms is now high, the owners are tending to become more professional and to offer stays with ever greater added value (close to wine estates, in the heart of forests...). In addition to this, additional services (meals...) have been added, which has led to an increase in prices over the last few years.

More than ever, owners need to be present on online booking platforms in order to gain visibility while taking advantage of regulatory changes, which may or may not be favorable to them.

List of charts

  • Evolution du chiffre d'affaires concernant l'hébergement touristique de courte durée
  • Rétrospective et comparaison du nombre de chambres d'hôtes en France
  • Allez-vous partir en vacances cet été ?
  • Quel est votre ressenti par rapport aux vacances d'été ?
  • Durée des vacances d'été des français en 2022
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

La Bretonnière
Les Botterêts
La Sauvageonne
Mineral Lodge
Le Clos des Cyprès

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