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Gite vs B&B vs campsite

Mountain dreams

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Hi, I've posted this on the B&B thread as well as it covers both, so apologies if you read it twice.

I am new to the forum as hubby & I are earlyish in our plans with our

grand move to France. We are looking at the possibility of running a

small glamping & gite business and from what I've read it's quite

difficult to get permission to open a new a campsite. I've also read

that if any food is sold a gite business must register as a B&B.


wonder if anyone knows whether a small number of static, high end tents

(yurts or safari), where meals are available, would actually qualify as

a campsite or whether it could be classified as a B&B, and if so,

is it easier to get this registered than a campsite?

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I have a notion that to be a chambre d'hote (B&B) your guests have to stay in your home, ie literally be accommodated in the house that you live in.

If that is correct then a gite can never be a chambre d'hote, and neither will tents and yurts.

However, I believe that the way you register your gite and pay your charges is different according to whether you are providing accommodation only, or accommodation plus a number of additional services to your guests.

Also, if you have accommodation for over a certain number of guests, there are more stringent rules.

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  • 5 months later...

If you want to go down the camping route then I would look for an existing campsite that is for sale as creating one from scratch can be quite expensive. The immediate thing that comes to mind is the requirement for toilets, showers etc not to mention permission to have the camping. Also the area you're looking at is covered in campsites. In fact there is an ample supply of just about every type of holiday accommodation there, if anything it is oversupply really. Great for people looking to holiday there as there are so many places to choose from.

One thing that I was told when I started, some 12 years ago, by a very knowledgeable person was not to borrow money to start any holiday business. There is very little profit to be had in any of them and very few actually give a living wage. Borrowing to buy means you're working for the bank. Most people who run any of these type of businesses have one partner in a 'proper job' whilst the other runs the holiday accommodation.

The rules for running each type of these businesses in France are getting more and more complex. As an example if you want to to evening meals in a Chambres D'Hotes (B&B) you now have to go on a course which lasts about a week.

I would like to make a suggestion. I wouldn't ask about the differences because you won't get a proper answer as the differences are quite big. What I would do is ask about the rules and regulations etc of running each type of business singly, create something like a table in Word (or whatever) and list them side by side.

Another tip I will give you, research, research and research again.

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You cannot offer meals with a gite business. But Quillan is correct I would check the rules to see the differences, although these do constantly change and normally become more demanding. What changes less is the income and I would say its difficult to survive from this kind of business - France is not cheap.In many areas property prices have fallen dramatically. The internet has many established Gites and Chambre d'hote owners who are trying to sell - particularly ex pats.Sorry to sound so negative.
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