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We have recently completed the renovation of a typical Charentaise barn which we now hope to rent out as a gite.

We would really appreciate any advice or suggestions on the marketing of our gite via an internet site.

Can anyone recommend any of the major web based companies, for example, Brittany Ferries, Gites de France or French Connections etc., ?

Also, any good, but not too expensive, magazine or newspaper advertising which may be appropriate.

We do not have a pool and the layout and style of the accommodation makes it unsuitable for children under 12 years.

Our aim is to attract the slightly more mature holiday-maker (any nationality), who is looking for a peaceful and relaxing break in a rural countryside setting.

We have our own website.

We would be grateful for any comments/advice. Smile [:)]



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Hi Lenny, welcome to the forum,  from speaking to (quite) a considerable number of Gite owners the 2 most highly recommended for French Gites are:

http://www.abritel.fr/ and http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/

I could go on to list another 10 or so "good 'uns" - but each of which would be someone else's "don't bother". The 2 above are good solid options.

There are literally hundreds to chose from. Including several dozen that are free to advertise on: these typically will only get you the odd booking but are FREE and may allow you to have a (valuable) link to your own website (thereby aiding in Search Engine Optimization).

As with all advertising:

Take out the smallest (cheapest) ad you can with each ad-provider and track results. If the ad works take out the next biggest ad ... track results and so on. When a bigger/flashier ad no longer seems justified scale back to the one you had before.

best of luck!

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A listing site that works for one gite owner doesn't necessarily work for another. Holiday-Rentals and Abritel don't work for me anymore, nor many other gite owners I know!

I would go to google and type in the keywords that you think people will use to find your gite, and see which listing sites are on page 1. As Clair said, the LMH forum has some excellent tips and you will find experiences of and comments on many of the holiday rental listing websites.

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Googling is a good tip ... but if you google using google.fr (or google.co.uk for Brit renters) you'll get a different top ten than if you google with google.pt, google.de or google.it etc etc. If you want multilingual renters (as Lenny suugested) you will also need to know your keywords in various languages.

This of course is all feasible and as I said IS a good idea ... it's a wee bit more work than it may first appear.  Many of the big advertising sites have invested seriously on multilingual and multi-google SEO. As a measure of a site's traffic you can use alexa rankings or google Page Rank.  Lenny wanted suggestions of sites so I offered mine - I'm sorry if you struggle with them nimpq.

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[quote user="Ian"] Lenny wanted suggestions of sites so I offered mine - I'm sorry if you struggle with them nimpq.


Yes, he did - it is just what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another, that is the problem with personal recommendation. I know a few people who H-R does work for, and the sites that work for me don't work for them. H-R used to work very well for me, but hasn't brought in many bookings over the last couple of years, but that tends to be my experience with sites! Unfortunately a lot of them are quite expensive with no guarantee of results. Homelidays is offering a free 2 month trial at the moment, providing you have a website and can give them a reciprocal link on the homepage.

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Hi Callie, Clair, Ian, Nimportequoi and Teapot,

Thanks so much for all the excellent advice and suggestions. With your comments in mind we are going to do a lot more research on the pros and cons of a good number of the various website advertisers on offer.

We currently advertise with French Connections (they had a good offer on when we joined), but we have had no interest via this site. We do realise that the lack of interest so far (since Sep.08) may, to a large extent, be due to the credit crunch. If this is the case we suspect that the British holidaymaker may delay booking anything in the euro-zone until the pound strengthens.

Happy New Year to All Forum Readers,


P.S. Our part of the Charente is under several inches of snow at the moment. Not exactly what I envisaged when I was watching lovely sunny episodes of 'A Place in the Sun' on British TV a couple of years ago. Having said that we live in an unbelievably beautiful part of France, so not complaining.

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  • 1 month later...
Hi lenny

don't know if you are still looking for info but if you are we have had great success with our own website and listing it on a number of gite listing sites to pull in business. Ownersdirect and gitelink have provided high referral levels to our site and we have a number of other good backlinks. Try these two, but your own site is the key to converting hits to customers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We tried French Connections a couple of years ago and didn't get a single enquiry despite copying and pasting the same advert that brought us enquiries from cheznous and holiday-rentals. We put this down to their search criteria (at the time you could search for either private pool or shared pool but not just pool. This may have changed).

One good thing we've found with H-R is that they automatically put you on their foreign sister sites. We have had quite a few bookings from English speakers in Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland and Italy. All of these have the added advantage (for us) of having their summer holidays through July, so extending our main booking period (we cater mostly for families with young kids).

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