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On Wednesday, July 11th, Jean-Virgile Crance, Director of Investor and Corporate Relations at Louvre Hotels Group, was elected by his peers to be president of the GNC (National Hotel Chain Organisation). His term will be dedicated to promoting the tourism sector, a huge employment provider representing 2 million employees and 350,000 companies. He plans to lobby for the creation of a fully empowered Minister of Tourism who can champion a proactive policy to defend the attractiveness of France and sustainable management of the sector’s economy. Representing 7.4% of French GDP, tourism is a powerful growth driver and a sector with a strong future.

Originally from Brittany, Jean-Virgile Crance is a graduate of the Dinard Hotel School and has spent his entire career in the hospitality sector. Vice President of the GNC since 2017, Director of Investor and Corporate Relations at Louvre Hotels Group, his in-depth knowledge of the industry enables him to measure the challenges it faces today.

Creating new jobs that cannot be relocated, promoting professional integration

His term at the head of the GNC, an organisation created in 1989 and associated with UMIH (Hospitality Industries and Professions Union) since 1994, will focus on proactive initiatives. First on the agenda, employment. “Tourism companies, hotels and restaurants, are veritable drivers of value creation. They play a major role in integrating people who have difficulty finding work, especially young people. But they are also impacted by significant mutations, like the digital transition and digitalization of professions,” he explains. That is why he wants all hospitality professions to receive better recognition, especially through work-study programs, to fill the 100,000 job openings for summer 2018 and the 50,000 unfilled permanent contracts.

Promoting a tourism development policy in France

Another priority during his term will be the development of a responsible and sustainable industry of excellence. While France remains the number one tourist destination worldwide, it must find solutions to several challenges: the risk of over-tourism, safety and sustainable development.

Jean-Virgile Crance will also advocate creating the position of a fully empowered Minister of Tourism in order to effectively steer the sector by centralising decisions and pooling resources. The objective is to enable France to identify the tourism impact of any initiatives that are launched. One of the main objectives of Jean-Virgile Crance is to establish sustainable tourism, focusing not only on its environmental footprint, where hotels and restaurants are rewarded for their eco-friendly actions, but also on its capacity to welcome disabled visitors.

Safety is central to our industry and must be a priority of tourism policy in France. It is vital that public communication be professional, verified and controlled. The creation of a dedicated police force for this sector is one option we would like to set up, as well as a nationwide Safety-Site label,” he continues.

Other points on the agenda of Jean-Virgile Crance and his Vice President Christian Recoing, along with the rest of the organisation, concern a stable tax environment, employment and training, fair competition of online platforms as well as the generalisation of tax declarations and tourist tax.

Not one to waste time, Jean-Virgile Crance, alongside Roland Heguy, president of the UMIH, has already scheduled the first meetings with members of the government in the days ahead.

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