Are French Riviera tourism operators ready for China’s National Week?

Are French Riviera’s travel and tourism operators ready for China’s National Week?   I’m dubious to say ‘Yes’ as I believe a high proportion of travel-related businesses here are completely oblivious to targeted marketing for one of the world’s largest holiday periods and tourism markets.

What is National Week?

Chinese National Day is celebrated on 1st October each year to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  National Week or Golden Week is the holiday period that follows National Day – this year, it runs from 1st October to 8th October 2017.  Golden Week is the longest public holiday in China aside from Chinese New Year.

Why should France care about China’s National Week?

Traditionally, France has ranked within the top 2 overseas destinations for Chinese visitors however it is increasingly facing tough competition from other European destinations.  Switzerland has made huge efforts to attract Chinese tourists, as has Croatia with Game of Thrones-themed tours.

Director Jiang Yiyi of the International Tourism Research Institute with the China Tourism Academy says, “Chinese tourists no longer only select traditional hot journey places such as Thailand, the United States and Japan to spend their holidays. Countries such as Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand and Peru have all become a new attraction.”

France needs to adapt their tourism model and refresh their marketing to go beyond standard tour product by assessing the entire tourist journey from availability and frequency of flights from Chinese cities to French cities to including Chinese-specific signage at key tourist areas.

Notably, one of the biggest lags in tourism development for Chinese visitors is translation of French websites.  To compare, Barcelona Tourism has their main website resources available in 13 languages; Nice Tourism’s website is 7 languages including Chinese – something to think about for French businesses looking to grow their Chinese client base.

Chinese tourists visiting the French Riviera

Locally, companies are realising the potential of Chinese tourism on the French Riviera.

Monte-Carlo SBM has hosted high-profile events for Chinese companies adapting their service offering for their clients, including Chinese TV channels and meal options.  Their 4 hotels –  Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and the Monte-Carlo Beach have obtained the Silver Certification, a hospitality standard for outbound Chinese travelers, awarded by ‘Welcome Chinese’.

‘Welcome Chinese’ is the only officially recognized by Chinese Authorities certified travel service standard and travel platform, aimed at upgrading the services dedicated to Chinese travellers.

Monaco has promoted the Principality as an add-on travel experience for National Week holidays, appealing to Chinese visitors to Monaco Yacht Show to stay and discover the Principality and surrounding regions.

Golden Week – French Riviera

French Riviera travel and tourism businesses need to prepare and strategise for this important tourism market – over the 8-day Golden Week holiday period, 650 million Chinese will travel which is an incredible number logistically and of that number, 6 million will travel abroad.  While they won’t all be heading to the famous Côte d’Azur coastline, a large number have been researching their travel options for European highlights and booked already.

The chance to create travel product and packages for a target group (known as mid to high spenders) is untapped for many businesses.  Shanghai-based Ctrip.com International, a Nasdaq-listed travel agency said that a quarter of their Ctrip customers chose to travel between 7 and 10 days, up 140 % year-on-year.   As well, shopping ranks highly as an activity during this time.

Immersive culture experiences, adventure activities and enticing landscapes appeal to Chinese visitors and as it is shoulder season here with comfortable temperatures and clear weather, the potential for opportunity is high.

Stats:  Ctrip.com, UNWTO

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Monaco Yacht Show 2017: What You Need To Know

It’s almost upon us – the annual late September gathering for Monaco Yacht Show of the world’s premium superyachts, 125 to be precise, including around 40 yachts that will be freshly revealed for their Monaco debut.

Monaco Yacht Show 2017 will be held at Port Hercules from 27th to 30th September.

my aquarius feadship

M/Y Aquarius will be at MYS 2017 (image: Feadship)

Monaco Yacht Show 2017 – What’s New

September is a busy month in this neck of the woods for yacht shows with Cannes Yachting Festival just finished and Genoa Boat Show starting tomorrow, but Monaco Yacht Show 2017 is the most influential yachting show and certainly the one to visit to see the largest yachts and latest innovations with toys, tenders and tech gadgets in the nautical world.

mys2017

Monaco Yacht Show is one of the world’s leading yacht shows (image: MYS)

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide, Bespoke Yacht Charter very kindly asked me to write them a guide about the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 and I’ve included many insider tips including what to expect at show zones, VIP experiences, exhibitor and yacht lists and party dates.  You can read the guide here:  Monaco Yacht Show 2017 Guide

(This Monaco Yacht Show 2017 guide is a paid article on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter)

250,000 THANK YOUS

Sunday smiling and sending out a huge heartfelt thank you to all my followers, sharers, commenters and occasional readers who have stopped by Access Riviera – I have hit a milestone of 250,000 visitors!

I’m totally overwhelmed with all of the support for my blog from what started as a simple vision to provide information about the French Riviera and has grown into a behemoth and I’ve appreciated every like, share and comment along the way.

I’ve worked with some brilliant clients, learned a lot about growing and ungrowing followers, committed myself to writing good content and generally sticking to writing about things I believe in whether it’s the good, the bad or the ugly.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!  Here’s to the next 250K

Becks

To read some of my most popular articles, click on the links below:

Secret French Riviera : Hidden spots worth visiting

The Lavender Route

Cannes Film Festival : The Ultimate Guide

Top 15 French Riviera viewpoints for amazing photos

Monaco on a budget

To work with me or simply send me feedback, you can contact me a number of ways from my Contact Access Riviera page.

Flying to and from the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 in Style  

A complete guide on how to experience the Monaco Yacht Show 2017 in style.  

Learn all that you will need to experience one of the hottest tickets in town this autumn –  The Monaco Yacht Show 2017.   

Every September, the world’s most prestigious brands descend upon the principality of Monaco, to showcase all things new in luxury to a global audience. What better way to join in the fun than with a private jet charter to arrive in style? Learn all you’ll need to know for the perfect trip to the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show.

Monaco Yacht Show

The Show

The Monaco Yacht Show, first and foremost, provides a setting for the world’s most respected shipyards to showcase their latest super-yacht creations. However, over the years the exhibition has attracted a wider audience – from luxury fashion, to the automotive and aviation industries.

During the show, several ports of call are a must. Below are a few of the exhibits at this year’s show that will leave you already booking a private jet to return for next year’s event.

Port Hercules

From 27 – 30 September, Port Hercules will transform itself into a super-yacht showroom. This year, 40 of the world’s most exclusive super-yachts will be unveiled. With the yachting elite poised for what is sure to be an amazing spectacle, a stroll around the harbour is not to be missed.

The Upper Deck Lounge

After taking in the latest and greatest yachts on earth, head to the Upper Deck Lounge for a light refreshment. Located under the Parvis Piscine exhibition tent, visitors can unwind in a professionally designed space, equipped with restaurant and Lanson Champagne Bar.

Test driving at the Car Deck

Once you’ve re-charged your jet setter batteries, why not test drive a Bentley or Lamborghini from the Quai Antoine 1er; situated on the eastern side of Port Hercules.

This year, Bentley, McLaren, Lamborghini and amongst others, Aston Martin, will be offering visitors to the show a chance to take a spin in one of the most famous F1 locations.

Travelling to the Monaco Yacht Show 2017

With anticipation growing on how you can be part of this extravaganza, read on for our tips of how to get there, where to stay and what to do with those long Riviera nights.

How to Get There

Transportation links to and from the principality are limited to rail, road… and helicopter. It therefore could not be easier by flying with a private jet charter, due to the flexibility and services booking privately affords.

After landing in Nice, you’re a stone’s throw away from Monaco via helicopter transfer. When you book a private jet, helicopter transfer can be added. This exceptional service will transport your party and luggage from door to door in style and sophistication.

Where to Stay

There isn’t a spot on the Riviera that does not exude luxury, however, our suggestion for the ultimate Monte Carlo experience would be the Fairmont. Situated on the Avenue des Spélugues, this four-star hotel is a short walk from Port Hercules, restaurants and Casino.

fairmont hotel

Aerial view of the stunning Fairmont, a short walk from Port Hercules, restaurants and the Casino

With an eclectic choice of restaurants & bars, shopping arcade, spa & fitness, pool and pop up Beach Club, the Fairmont is a perfect retreat from the bustling crowd of the yacht show.

Nikki Beach at Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Fairmont Monte-Carlo at night (image: ©ArtmanAgency5340)

Dining in the Principality

Choice during your private jet charter tour could be daunting with the plethora of impressive restaurants on offer, but help is on hand to highlight a few of the best spots in town.

Avenue 31

For a taste of the Mediterranean, venture to Avenue 31; a cosy yet exemplary dining experience, with expertly crafted menus designed by head chef Andrea Lanzillotta.

Avenue 31 dining during Monaco Yacht Show

Buddha Bar

For something a little more extravagant, the Buddha Bar which neighbours the Casino is sure to dazzle the senses. With exotic interiors and a menu to match, the Buddha Bar will live up to any finalé evening in the playground of the rich and famous.

best club monaco

The Buddha Bar with exotic interiors and a menu to match is one of Monte-Carlo’s hottest nightspots

Le Louis XV

Within the Hotel du Paris resides Le Louis XV. Recently refurbished, guests can enjoy haute cuisine with a 3 Michelin star price tag for a special occasion. Alongside the à la carte menu, guests can choose from one of two set menus: Jardins de Provence, or Menu Gourmet.

le louis xv in monte carlo

Fine dining at Le Louis XV (image: (c) PierreMonetta)

With the Monaco Yacht Show hot on your jet setting heels, there has never been a better time to grab your passport, purse and private jet charter and head to The Monaco Yacht Show 2017.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in partnership with Relevance.

 

Reblog from L’Occasion: Mapping France In Wine Bottles

If you have the impression that finding affordable wine in France is hard – it is definitely time to revisit that stance. My husband and I have taken several road-trips through France, meeting winemakers and tasting wine – much of it high-quality, AOP wines with price-tags that need to be forgiven for their modesty. Where […]

via Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine — L’OCCASION

The Honesty About Dishonesty on Instagram

I have to admit, I was a late comer to Instagram but can appreciate it’s virtues.  I follow far too many travel, food and fashion bloggers and over the course of getting up to speed with Instagram etiquette I have seen the same styling of photos pop up again and again.

Instagram has its positive and negative uses and showcases some amazingly talented individuals.  But it also drip feeds a lot of drivel and ‘same-same’ content with no creativity other than copying something that’s been done a million times before.

I’ll continue to dabble with Instagram as there is a lot I love on the platform, however I’m finding it lacks authenticity for a lot of accounts and can be irritating in huge doses.

I’ve pulled some examples from actual Instagram accounts to show you my love-hate relationship!

Here are 7 Instagram clichés that drive me nuts

  1. The ‘Follow Me To’ post

We’ve seen these ones a MILLION times – the outstretched hand leading the photographer to a beautiful location.  Travel is fun, inspirational and thought-provoking, sadly these type of posts don’t move me to explore.

2. The ‘Sitting-on-the-Edge’ post

There’s been a lot of media debate around the world about some of the Instagram posts from influencers who have perched at the edge of clifftops, balanced on the ledges of high rises or taken photos at extremely dangerous locations in the name of capturing a selfie.

Social media has opened the floodgates for recognition.  Wanting to be noticed is not inherently a bad habit – it is just basic human behavior, but Instagram is definitely allowing a portal for pushing physical limits of safety.

3. The ‘Hard-at-work-but-not-really’ post

Part 1:  Line up your laptop with some staged accessories and a backdrop of nice scenery

Part 2:  Take photos of the scene and post with captions such as ‘Long day answering emails and enquiries today from my 5-star beachfront bungalow’ or ‘Hustling from my office’.

4. The ‘Kids in pristine clothes’ post

As a parent of two rambunctious and active boys, I love following other family blogs, family travel experts and parenting Instagram accounts.

But the accounts I cringe at the most are the ones with kids in pristine clothes ALL THE TIME.

I appreciate there are people who are brand ambassadors, however there are a lot of Instagram accounts for babies or young children that border on unrealistic goals to ‘be a star’.

Instagram feeds the insecurities and anxieties of parenthood and it can be unhealthy whereby parents feel their kids must be preened and polished so you appear to be doing a good job.

Adweek reported that 50% of people felt that by comparing their accomplishments to those of others on social media, their self-esteem has suffered.   I wonder how many parents miss out on true genuine moments of childhood because they’re trying to pose for that perfect photo?

I prefer family accounts that share some authenticity; honest parenting is about sharing the mud, ruffled hair, dirty shoes, bedroom chaos and daily adventures of having kids.

It’s not about lining your toddler up in white dungarees on 1000-thread count Egyptian bed linen from (insert brand) so your (insert brand) room bunting and (insert brand) throw cushions look fabulous, darling.

5. The ‘Product placement trying to be cool’ post

How many times do we need to see a luxury watch placed beside a steering wheel in a supercar or a bottle of Champagne?  Apparently, Instagram loves it so the repetitive posts continue!

6. Ice creams

I love ice cream!  But I don’t really need to see it all through my Instagram feed to prove you’ve been to Rome, St Paul de Vence or Paris.

7. Inspiring quotes

I’m a firm believer in motivation, enthusiasm and determination but there are some Instagram accounts who overdo it with the inspirational quotes.  To put it bluntly, they don’t post anything else.

I don’t hate inspirational quotes but if you need to post 20 a day to get across a notion of hard work and success, then that’s fine – just don’t shove it in my face.  Hitting the ‘Unfollow’ button has never been so easy!

Do you have any pet hates on Instagram?   Or do you agree with my Instagram clichés above?   Which posts on Instagram drive you nuts?

To follow Access Riviera on Instagram, head over to www.instagram.com/ariviera06 where posts feature the good, the bad and the ugly of life on the French Riviera; no responsibility taken if posts are guilty of some or all of these clichés.

 

 

Flight delays, cancellations and unaccompanied minors

There have been numerous flight delays at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and I have received feedback that the on-the-ground support for passengers has been tepid and somewhat lacking.

It seems that in recent weeks, passengers are not aware of their EU Air Passenger Rights in the event of lengthy flight delays or cancellations.

I have enquired about this with some of the airlines including a major low-cost carrier and they ensure me that all of their staff at Nice are aware of current regulations and trained – the reality is that passengers have told me that staff for various airlines are unwilling to answer queries, passengers have been left without meal vouchers and frustrations have been high.

delays nice airport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport needs to be more consistent with information for passengers in the event of delays and cancellations

EU Air Passenger Rights

For passengers who have flights that are delayed or cancelled leaving from Nice Airport, you may be entitled to compensation and assistance under EU Air Passenger Rights.

EU Air Passenger Rights  set out guidelines for airlines – if you were denied boarding, your flight was cancelled, you experienced a delay of more than 2 hours at departure or you arrive with a long delay at your final destination, the operating air carrier must give you a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance.

eu passenger rights

EU Passenger Rights (European Commision / Europa EU)

To check if EU Air Passenger Rights apply in your case, you can find out here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm

There are also specific passenger rights for certain groups; you can read a previous blog post I wrote about EU Air Passenger Rights for musicians flying with instruments or people with reduced mobility.

For EasyJet flight delays and cancellations from Nice Airport, they advise passengers to please refer to the conditions set out on their website.  The guidelines are found under the ‘Help’ menu – ‘Boarding and Flying’ – ‘Delays and cancellations’.   It would be more beneficial to have a more visible menu for them such as ‘Flight delays and cancellations’ to make it quick and easy for passengers to find the information.  Regardless, if you need to review what Easyjet’s compensation policy is you can read it here:   https://www.easyjet.com/en/help/boarding-and-flying/delays-and-cancellations  and the EasyJet Claim Form is here EasyjetClaimFormEU261

For EasyJet refunds for cancelled flights, you can contact their Customer Service number, the best one is 0044 330 365 5454.  (The other line is +44 (0) 330 365 5000).

It’s important to note for flight delays and cancellations, that both the outbound and return flights are considered as two separate flights even if they were booked as part of one reservation.  In some cases the airline operating the flight may not be the same as the one from which you bought your ticket. In case of any difficulties only the airline which operates the flight can be held responsible.

Family travel

Airlines have regulations concerning children who are flying out of France with one or without both of their parents.  Many airlines have services to accompany unaccompanied children, such as Air France’s Kids Solo service.  The rules apply to residents in France, regardless of nationality.

There seems to be a lot of confusion among parents I have spoken to on the French Riviera who are unsure of the official regulations from France if the travelling child/ren and parents surnames differ, if one of the parents is not accompanying the child on the flight or if the child is flying solo (unaccompanied).

It’s important that you check the rules of each individual carrier to ensure you follow their necessary paperwork and procedures.

Interestingly, staff at Nice Airport have varying knowledge on the regulations so you are best to take as many pieces of evidence with you to check-in.

Parent & child with different surnames OR travelling with one parent only

If you are a parent and your child has a different surname, you must provide a letter of authorisation from the other parent giving permission for you to travel with the child out of France.

The travel authorisation is evidence to show that both guardians know and agree to allow a minor to leave the country, and is presented at the departure point, not the arrival point.

nice airport

Flying over the French Riviera (image: A Borchio)

As well as the travel authority letter, you should take a photocopy of the children’s birth certificate proving the names of both parents and if possible a photocopy of photo I.D for the absent parent who is not flying.

It is useful to also take a travel authorisation form if you have the SAME surnames but again the other parent is not travelling.

For a sample travel authorisation form, you can email me for a FREE template at accessriviera06@gmail.com

Unaccompanied minors from France

By law from January 2017, if your child is travelling with neither parent – therefore solo as an unaccompanied minor – you must fill in an ‘Authorisation de sortie du territoire (AST)’ .

The official form is also known as an authorization form Cerfa 15646*01, and is required for every unaccompanied resident minor departing France.  You must fill in one form per UMNR  and it must be accompanied with photo I.D. from parents.

The download and rules for the AST form are found here Authorisation de sortie du territoire / Cerfa 15646*01

Personal Note:  A few years ago a flight I took was delayed at London Heathrow and if I hadn’t been aware of my EU Passenger Rights I’m sure I wouldn’t have been confident enough to question the lack of support at Heathrow airport for 300+ passengers and get passengers meal vouchers after an extremely long wait with no information.  I have also been delayed with my eldest son for 3+ hours on the tarmac in Lyon – not a fun experience with kids – so bear in mind what your rights are.

DisclaimerThis post is for information purposes only and is subject to change at any time.  In each instance, please verify current regulations and rules with your operating airline at the time of need.