Day after day, the media but also all kinds of information media talk about the tourist industry by taking up studies, reports and other official data or not. But a majority of what is published is arranged, serving the particular interests of each other, who are not shy about contributing to widespread disinformation, which may put professionals and lawmakers on the wrong path to understanding.

The following 10 topics are most of the time not worthy of being received with credibility and assurance . To take them at face value, as many journalists do, is just to risk being ridiculed and being complicit in lies by relaying them.

1) – Official tourism data  – Level of credibility: 2/5
“France is the world’s leading tourist destination, with 84.7 million international tourists received…”. For several years, we have been providing proof that this information, however conveyed as the word of the gospel, is false and invented, because it is not based on any valid calculation methodology:see our last analysis of the subject . But, we like to be reassured even if it means getting out of the hat statistics. The trick is to take a peremptory tone and everyone will believe it.

2) – Les Assises du tourisme  – Level of credibility: 3/5 A
great demagogic mass to give the feeling that the government wants to understand and take charge of tourism, the Assises were an opportunity for notables to show themselves in meetings and to promote what tourism… owes them. And that’s all. Nothing structuring comes out of it, nothing that we have not known for a long time and above all nothing is concretely done in the field as a corollary. Move along, nothing to see.See our analysis on the subject .

3) – Economic barometers  – Level of credibility: 2/5
Published by hotel / tourism consulting firms in need of publicity or by employers’ unions who have things to prove, the economic barometers in tourism and hotels are not representative of this sector and are therefore false. Supplied by the large tourism and hotel groups via a few monthly emails, the self-employed – who number more than 8 out of 10 companies – are not included, or very little. The result: excessively good business figures that have nothing to do with the industry as a whole. No firm has the human and financial means to question the independents and they are not very fond of responding to these business surveys. This does not prevent firms and unions from “forgetting” to specify which are their real samples (corresponding only to the chains for the former) and to smoke the readers,… when the data is not quite simply invented. Why go to trouble, anyway, since everyone gobbles up what is published? Only the INSEE observatory is correct because it questions all types of tourism companies; but, unfortunately, it happens much later than those of private research firms.See our analysis on the subject .   

4) – Parliamentary reports on tourism  – Level of credibility: 3/5
We have not yet read convincing, even useful ones. In the best-case scenario, the reports that do exist are pushing concerns already wide open for years, including in their recommendations. In the worst case, their content is dictated by lobbyists and / or administrations who have interests to defend, other than those of tourism and the French economy. The usual purpose of these reports: to disappear in a drawer.

5) – Quality labels – Level of credibility: 3/5
There are more than 150 of them just for tourist accommodation, of which firstQuality Tourism guaranteed by the state! We can say that they have only relative value since their criteria are always minimalist, undemanding (not to say flush with the daisies) and never developed by questioning consumers, and therefore taking their expectations into account. If we add that the control methods are very questionable, we will remember so as not to throw them in the trash that they can hardly serve as management tools for the staff. In any case, they do not bring anything commercially either since absolutely no label in tourism is known, recognized and even understood by the public.See our article on the subject.

6) – Reforms  – Level of credibility: 3/5
After decades of laxity in tourism, the governments which have succeeded one another since 2007 have sought to dust off regulations and standards of all kinds. Laudable intentions in principle, except that the results of these reforms are edifying of high cost, uselessness and exaggeration. In the name of the all too famous precautionary principles and of ” we do it for your good and your safety »What have we not seen as new rules that undermine many tourism professions without their customers benefiting. They are just called administrative umbrellas. In other words, it is not because it comes from the government or a central administration that it is necessarily good.  

7) – Trophies  -Credibility level : 1/5
There are plenty of things in tourism: trophies, awards, prizes and other rewards. Usually launched by private sector organizers to make people talk about them, or even earn (a lot?) Of money, it is difficult to validate “the best hotel in the world” (among 3.5 million) and many others amusements of the same kind. Compliant ghost juries or even votes from customers on the Internet (in reality friends, family and benefactors) are the pretext to seek to give credibility to these fake trophies, obtained by paying to be able to apply. But tourism professionals love chocolate medals. So why deny them? Only real contests are worth something honorable, such as the MOF, the Bocuse d’Or, etc.See our article on the subject .

8) – Economic forecasts – Level of credibility: 0/5
Encouraged by journalists, there are more and more consulting firms that pay into the clairvoyance salon by daring to announce forecast figures for the development of activity for the coming year. Sometimes this is specified with a number behind the comma. Too strong. It is especially in the hotel industry that we see this type ofMadame Irmaintervene, without laughing, when hotel groups (including those listed on the stock market) refrain from putting forward any activity forecast. However, everyone knows from having noticed that we have not been able to foresee anything in tourism for nearly fifteen years, even within a month. So at one year … Moreover, the prophecies announced by these wizards with their crystal ball or coffee grounds, depending on, never come true. What wouldn’t we do to surf the scum of media coverage?   

9) – Detentions about OTAs and online reviews -Credibility level : 2/5
You may not like online travel agencies (OTAs) and be hurt because of negative reviews posted by fictitious customers, the fact remains that tourist customers love these new possibilities to book online and get informed, which are a real unexpected success. If the OTAs are in a dominant situation vis-à-vis the hosts, the latter certainly pay dearly for it but benefit greatly from it when they are 4 out of 5 to commit no (or very little) marketing for their establishment. As for fictitious consumer opinions, we know that they are very much in the minority and that the prevailing moralization tends to force the sites carrying these comments to clean up their pages.See our analysis on the subject.  

10) – Polls and online surveys  – Level of credibility: 1/5
They have become the majority, if not systematic. They are wrongly credited with great veracity, all the more so when it is argued that several thousand people have responded to these surveys. Except that quantity never replaces quality. Online surveys have more disadvantages than advantages in being credible and reliable. We do not know who is answering it (unreliable sample) and we do not know if the respondents understand each question and are sincere. Embarrassing. But since these tools are inexpensive, these major defects are quickly swept away.


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