Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bonne Année 2011, and a look back on 2010

"Bonne Année", or should I say "Happy New Year" to all my readers and visitors.

At this end-of-one-year, look-forward-to-the-next time of year I thought I'd give an update on how things have been for us personally in terms of website traffic and holiday Gite bookings. I last wrote on this subject two years ago when I detailed the visitors and guest numbers from 2005 to 2008, so an opportune time for an update.

Again using Google Analytics reports, website visitor numbers for both the Gite website and this Blog for the last couple of years have dropped a fraction, but in the main have been fairly constant:
     visitors     page viewsvisitorspage views

But unfortunately we have seen a definite downturn in guests over the last couple of years, with 2010 having both the smallest number of guest bookings and the least number of nights where the Gite was rented out:

YearRental bookingsNumber of nights rentedAverage days in advance

Hidden behind these numbers of course are the days and weeks we have occupied the Gite ourselves as a family, and in both 2009 and 2010 we had a number of stays including a 3 week August holiday in the Gite, which is of course prime-time holiday season.

Over the 6 years now that we have been renting our Brittany Gite out we've now broken the Century with 103 different guest holidays, although some of these are families that have been back a couple of times, and two families have been back 3 times, so the number of unique guests is slightly lower.

Again we've had really good feedback from our guests, although I have to admit to not having remembered to copy some of the quotes from the "Gite Diary" that we leave in France onto the online Guestbook comments on our website. Every time I visit I completely forget to sit down and copy some of them over - perhaps this should be my New Year's resolution?

I'm hoping that the booking slowdown is due to the general economic conditions, and we'll see an upturn in numbers as and when things improve. I know other Gite's have really really struggled with just a handful of weeks booked last year, so against this background we've continued to do well. We've kept our rental prices constant for the last two years and are continuing to invest in improvements to facilities at the Gite, so fingers crossed let's hope we are well positioned for a good 2011.

(And so far we've had 5 bookings for the new year, 46 nights in total, with a good chunk of July and August booked, and also an early May booking as well, so things are looking OK so far).

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