The 29/06/2022

That's it ! Determined to change your life, you have chosen to settle in the hotel industry. Then come the big choices: no-catering hotel or hotel-restaurant? How many rooms? Where ? Today GRAVITAO comes back to a recurring question: Should you choose a seasonal hotel or one that is open all year round?

What is a seasonal hotel?

A seasonal hotel is by legal definition a hotel which is open less than 42 weeks per year according to the general tax code (art. 1478, V), or open for a maximum of 9 months per year according to the tourism code (art. . D311-4).

This status of seasonal or year-round hotel is not set in stone, you can choose to modify it by making the necessary administrative declarations.

You can buy a hotel open all year round and turn it into a seasonal hotel and vice versa. .

Most of the time, seasonal operation is self-evident: establishment located in an almost exclusively tourist area, by the sea or in the mountains. Staying open for a very low fill rate doesn't really make sense.

Conversely, a hotel that has a significant potential for business customers has no interest in being seasonal.

What are the advantages of a seasonal hotel?

Seasonal establishments are taxed less: audiovisual fees and CET (territorial economic contribution) are lower.

Also certain operating costs (heating, employees, etc.) can be limited.

The annual closure(s) allow you to have a real vacation without worrying about managing possible problems from a distance. .

These closing periods also allow you to plan the annual works without having to manage the headache of closing a wing or a part of the establishment. Not to mention the inconvenience caused to customers.

The management of human resources in a seasonal hotel is perceived as an advantage or a disadvantage according to the hoteliers: you manage, except in special cases, employees on seasonal contracts. The flexibility of these contracts on the other hand: you have to be sure to find the staff each year to make your season a success.

The same employees can come back from one year to the next, it's up to you to retain the best!

What are the advantages of a hotel open all year round?

Year-round establishments generally manage to attract a mixed business and leisure clientele. They can therefore smooth out the distribution of their turnover over the year and by customer segment much more easily.

They can also conclude "corporate" contracts much more easily with companies whose needs are spread over the whole year. Companies or specialized agencies will more easily get into the habit of going to a hotel that is always open.

What type of clientele according to the hotel?

Business customers

The business clientele is varied: executives, salespeople, technicians... It is a clientele that is often present for several days during the week and is generally easy to manage. This is most of the time the clientele courted by hotels open all year round.

For some hotels open all year round, the challenge will be to "fill" the weekends and the summer season (packages, sports clubs, coach operators, etc.).

Leisure customers

It is generally this clientele that you will find overwhelmingly in seasonal establishments. The seaside hotel will open from the Easter holidays until All Saints' Day. The mountain hotel will open in winter for the ski season and in summer for cycle tourism and hikers.

Seasonal establishments can also benefit from passing business customers who will appreciate a well-rated hotel with advertised services such as a swimming pool or a spa.

But then, how to choose?

Ask yourself the right questions :

What is/are your priorities?

What is the customer segment you would like to work with?

How do you want to distribute your work over the year?

What places do you like, which ones do you want to avoid?

Profitability is generally not directly linked to the hotel's

seasonal or non-seasonal status. You need to ask yourself these 

questions and answer them according to your life project, then the choice will come naturally.

You can also leave it to "coup de coeur"!