Quality remains at the heart of Reunion Island’s tourism industry

Focus on

Published on 23 July 2015

In an industry constantly changing and highly competitive, it is essential for each project leader to respond and be in line with customer expectations and market trends. The support unit dedicated to these professionals or future professionals of tourism project leaders, is designed to help implement and develop projects and sustain these activities.

In this support process, IRT provides expertise and resources, and centers around three major focal points:
  • support for project sponsors in hosting, with special support for the unusual type of accommodation;
  • the launch of a quality approach Island Tourism Reunion (QTIR) charm; and
  • the launch of the accommodation qualification process for the reception of new Chinese and Indian clients.

Approximately 2,000 rooms are to be added on the island so that Reunion can achieve its objectives, namely the increase in tourism in the medium term. IRT, therefore, developed a tool to aid in the decision-making for the development of new and unusual projects, and to create a unique offer of accommodation for the destination. These structures of tomorrow, spread throughout the country, will offer new experiences with realistic goals of economic equilibrium.

The tourist of the 21st century is looking for quality accommodation, a contemporary style that combines the facilities provided by new technology services to welfare, respect for the character of the place, and blending into the natural environment. This relationship with nature is one of the strengths of Reunion Island, which works to preserve its unique environment and remain “green.”

IRT, in its approach to support such innovations, is acting as an expert catalyst to help provide the island with a range of unusual accommodations. This new trend of tourism is a global concept that is echoed throughout the world. With the natural setting of Reunion Island, a new breed of creative accommodation is aiming to delight nature lovers and those looking for new experiences.

As a result of multidisciplinary consultations, an inspirational booklet of guidelines was produced by the IRT. Aimed to be a source of innovation, the booklet is intended to guide new projects, especially about the demand from emerging markets. It guides developers in respect of the ambitions of the destination, the development and enhancement of the Reunion region, and promotes and integrates the Creole lifestyle.

This booklet provides examples and ideas, taking into account the current requirements in respect of planning regulations, areas of protection and/or natural risk areas. Ten different concepts were designed to fit the different landscapes of the island as a working guideline for developers. The support unit project leaders created the Observatory website to make access to the information as easy as possible. This site was created entirely in-house, and allows architects, designers, and owners of tourism structures to learn about the different concepts to discover the different labels found on Reunion Island. This ranges from B&Bs to five-star resorts and can be adapted to suit individual designs but using common methodology.

Some of the particulars are on line and ready to be accessed by users since September last year. The data and details are, according to information received from IRT, updated and modified as and when required. 

For any support request, email: projet@reunion.fr

QTIR launches “charm offensive”

This approach, voluntary and free of cost for participants, is for hotels and hospitality businesses under 30 rooms including cottages and vacation rentals which are part of QTIR. For accommodation professionals, it helps to:
  • stand out thanks to better visibility via new communication media;
  • be accompanied technically towards the creation of a structured network; and
  • involve staff in fostering improved and personalized services.

Launch of the accomodation qualification process for the reception of new chinese and indian customers

India and China are among the main emerging markets. These high-potential and high-spending tourists are a priority for the IRT and requires a specific strategy which the Reunion Island tourism professionals must be able to adapt to. With vacation habits that differ widely from those of French customers, the IRT has set up a qualification process and distinction for professionals wishing to host these foreign clients under the theme “Better understanding for better welcome.”

This voluntary approach is for incoming agencies, hospitality providers, restauranteurs, and entertainment professionals who are members of QTIR.