In Lourdes, concern is palpable among tourism professionals. Even more, it is anger and incomprehension that they testify this Thursday, regretting to be not to be heard by the State.
“Lourdes tourism professionals were waiting for specific announcements for the rescue of their businesses and for seasonal workers, as the Ministers who came to Lourdes on August 10 had committed themselves to it” write the hotel club of Lourdes-GNI and the Union of professions in the hotel industry (Umih) in a press release. Announcements that they are still waiting for despite the holding, on November 13, of a “Lourdes Territorial Roadmap Steering Committee”. This roadmap is part of the Tourism Plan adopted last May, measure 21 of which provides for the development of “Territorial roadmaps (which) will be defined within the Tourism Sector Committee in order to take into account the local specificities of certain territories, in autumn 2020”. Like Corsica and the overseas territories, Lourdes is one of those territories with “Particular issues”.
One month after the announcement of Tourism plan, the roadmap dedicated to the city of the southwest had been initiated under the impetus of the Prefect Blondel bringing together the State Services, the Territorial Communities and the Professionals and was articulated “Around 3 points: transitional support (short term), relaunch (medium and long term), communication / marketing of the ” Lourdes ” destination.” But, according to the two trade unions, professionals in the sectors concerned have been kept away from the development of this roadmap. Not to mention that neither the GNI nor the Umih have yet been received by the mayor of Lourdes elected in June, they deplore.
90% drop in turnover
Lourdes, the second largest hotel in France, is hit hard by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. According to organizations, the 2020 season is marked by a drop in turnover “By -90% on average” and the outlook is hardly more optimistic for 2021. The city’s economic activity had already been heavily impacted by the heavy flooding that occurred in 2013.
Faced with this observation, professionals ask “The abandonment of all social and fiscal charges for 2020 and 2021, the postponement of loan maturities without interest or charges including leasing fees and the assumption of commercial rents”. Requests intended to also protect “All the seasonal workers forming with their companies a unique whole for a world-famous destination with immense potential”.