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Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

Telford, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
25 reviews
Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

Over the years, I've had a lot of valuable advice and help from French TI's, but this year we had an interesting experience. We were looking for a cheap hotel in Cassis. The TI woman went on her computer, and offered us a three star hotel, which she said was really nice, just on the edge of town. The price was over what we wanted to pay (well over E300 for two nights, then breakfast, etc). She said that was the nearest she could do. We walked around the harbour and found a character 2 star. They were full that night, but the owner took us to another 2 star, where they had a couple of rooms that a couple were looking at. Meanwhile, we looked at Hotel Liautaud, right on the harbour side. They had rooms, including one with a balcony overlooking the water. The room was en suite, had parking, and was about E100 all in. Looking around, we saw lots of 2 stars right in the town.

Anyone else found such chicanery?

Nice
Level Contributor
12,655 posts
52 reviews
1. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

Tourist info places don't necessarily have all the hotels available to book. Also they are dependent on the information about availability from the hotels themselves.

They usually are good with 3 star plus but less bothered by the more basic hotels

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,175 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

it could be something as simple as the receptionist at the hotel doesn't get along with the lady at the TI office....

Doubtful it''s chicanery -- probably as Selkie advised.

UK
Level Contributor
3,976 posts
102 reviews
3. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

I think quite a lot of tourists won't look at a two star hotel, they want the extra comfort of a three star. If the tourist office is recommending you a place, they might well play it safe.

One thing you do find out when reading the TA forums and reviews, is that to many people a hotel without AC, swimming pool and wifi is completely unacceptable. It's all a question of expectations.

Marseille, France
Destination Expert
for Marseille, Aix-en-Provence
Level Contributor
1,500 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

I deal regularly with the Cassis tourist office for professional (press) reasons and have always found them very efficient.

Edinburgh
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
1,911 posts
30 reviews
5. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

I don't know specifically how the French tourist offices work with accommodation, but in Scotland accommodation has to sign up, and pay, to be part of the VisitScotland list. They are then 'members'. If they're not members then no matter how lovely they are, how empty they are, or how much of a bargain they are, the Tourist office isn't going to offer you a room there.

Provence
Level Contributor
812 posts
36 reviews
6. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

The Cassis tourist office will have all the hotel since it is a "town hall TO" (known as Epic). Other TO in France can be "association" (i.e. Society) and will only register their members.

As for enquiry at the desk, the TO will usually give the name of the hotels who called them to let them know about availability. They usually dont have enough staff to chase every morning on which properties have rooms for sale and some hotels dont play the game...

I doubt this is a question of the clerk not liking the receptionist.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,175 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

(I do, too -- but we all know it happens.)

Telford, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
25 reviews
8. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

Thanks for all the interesting responses. Obviously, we don't know what the problem was, but we had made it very clear what sort of room we wanted, We found a room with an en suite, with the extras of a stunning view of the harbour from our balcony, tele, and basic air con.

Another interesting point is that the receptionist was very interested to know who it was we had spoken to, and told us that the TI should have known that they had rooms. Someone else we spoke to said that the TI often seem to ignore their notifications of empty rooms.

Our suspicion that the TI tries to fill more expensive rooms preferentially may well be wrong, but the lesson remains that if a TI says there aren't rooms to match our requests, we'll be tempted to have a look for ourselves.

9. Re: Reliability of French Tourist Information in Cassis

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