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Social Tourism

Floreal, Tourism for all!

Since 1939, the Floreal Group has developped it's holiday centres advocating social tourism. Unknown to the general public, this approach merits being better known. Floreal offers everyone the possibility of going on holiday at tariffs adapted to each type of public. Be it in  "hotel formula" or camping, every holidaymaker will find what they want amongst the different services and activities offered in our infrastructures which are also adapted for the handicapped. Explications on social tourism as practised by Floreal.....

SOCIAL TOURISM OR THE RIGHT TO HOLIDAYS FOR ALL !

With the passage of time social tourism has become more than just an idea, it's a philosophy advocating the right to holidays for all. The goal is to "make holidays accessible to those levels of society with low income or presenting characteristics which limiting their access to tourism, holidays and their benefits". The target public is above all youth (15 to 30 years), seniors (55+), deprived families (socially/financially) and those with a handicap. However the holiday parks, campsites and other specialised residences are open to all.

Social tourism was born at the beginning of the 20th century following the demands of workers and unions for paid holidays for all. At that time only the elite had the possibility of having a holiday or touring. With the convention on paid holidays in 1936 social tourism saw the light of day with the objective of giving a maximum number of persons, from diffrent social strata, the possibility of going on holiday.

It was not until after the Second World War that the first policies for social tourism together with the first associations for the development of social tourism came into being. The latter grew progressively becoming national and even international.

IN RESPONSE TO THE UNION STRUGGLE FOR PAID HOLIDAYS

In response to the granting of paid holidays Floreal was created by the "Centrale Générale -FGTB in 1939 in order to permit the deprived or precarious levels of society to go on holiday. Offer holidays to Belgians or foreigners is possible owing to the pronciple of solidarity applied in both the holiday parks an d the campsites. Thus some pay the full price in order to help others, less fortunate, who benefit from preferential tariffs.

To offer a change of scene and a cocoon where one can rest in function of one's means is the principal goal of Floreal. This is in keeping with the respect of certain values furthering social and cultural mixing (among personnel and clientel alike), the "live together" and accessability for all.  Floreal great importance to the development of sustainable local tourism and to being an active partner for social development.

Floeal adheres fully to the philosophy of the sector but also works for the rejuvenation of the concept and image of tourism for all as the traditional value are, more than ever, pertinent in these times of crisis. In fact more and more often clients realise the necessity of adhering to these values and choose their suppliers on ethical grounds. Professional management is the only possible alternative permitting the mariage of the social aspects with the economic reality inherent to the dynamic of the whole tourism industry.

A MUST IN THE SECTOR

To satisfy the demands of the clientele, the offers of Floreal evolue in function of the needs and demands. Excursions for groups, moutain bike weekends, cultural weekends, nature weekends, "pure Ardennes" weekends or "pure Campine" weekends are just a few of those proposed. Floreal also has taverns and restaurants including 3 renowned gourmet restaurants : "De Kotter" at Nieuwpoort, "Les 5 Clochers" at Mont-Saint-Aubert and "Le Parc" at La Roche-en-Ardenne.

 In the holiday parks of Blankenberge, Nieuwpoort, Mont-Saint-Aubert and La Roche-en-Ardenne Floreal offers business services for seminars and walking dinners. The meeting rooms can accommodate from 10 to 800 persons but can also be hired for weddings or other celebrations.
"The use of our centres by businesses allows us to give favourable conditions to, for example, low income seniors on social assistance. Also in certain tariffs a part of the revenu is used to support charitable associations who help orphans", stated Yves Godin, General Manager of Floreal.

SOME FIGURES

On the social tourism market in Belgium Floreal is :
5 holiday parks with a capacity of 1 585 beds and 6 campsites.

The campsites are in La Roche-en-Ardenne (2), Rendeux, Sint-Job-in-'t Goor, Lichtaart et Lierneux (Gossaimont). As for the holiday parks they are to be found in Blankenbegre, Nieuwpoort, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Mont Saint-Aubert and Malmedy.

  • 1.764 camping pitches including 500 tourist pitches
  • 16 million Euros tirnover
  • 583.273 nights per year
  • An annual occupancy rate of 63%
  • 266 persons (full time equivalent.

 

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