In early September, Accor announced its “SHe Travel Club” certification. It is not nothing, in France particularly, to display your name in front of this institution, one of the largest hotel groups in the world. And moreover, this week, SHe Travel, this new hotel label supposed to ensure that the establishment is well suited to the expectations of female customers, is meeting the press. Big news, therefore, for this association recently created by Valérie Hoffenberg, also at the origin, we learn on LinkedIn, from Connecting leaders Club and from the think tank Marie-Claire Agir pour l’Egalité.
This “SHe” which lugs around its two impromptu capital letters is not a typo. The “S” stands for “Safe”. As for the “H”, that’s a whole other story, which we’ll come back to later. Safety, therefore, first.
On the SHe Travel site, figures are put forward: 64% of hotel customers are female customers; 52% of business travelers are female travellers. Intuitively, one can imagine that it is above all the latter who are sensitive to these security issues, “leisure” customers traveling less frequently alone. Although the source of the statistics is not cited, we are indeed in the presence of a real issue – we have, for our part, received testimonials from many business travelers on this subject.
This issue of security is therefore very serious. SHe Travel rightly makes it one of the four pillars of its label. And, as for the other three, for a hotel to validate it, it must meet a certain number of conditions, including “room completely secure with double latch lock”, “peephole”, “lighted corridors”, or ” 24 hour reception. Simple, clear, relevant, useful.
So what a disappointment that – as said above – three other blocks of criteria are added, devaluing, in our opinion, the first. Their themes are: “Comfort”, “Service & amenities” and “Catering and entertainment”. There is a jumble of the presence in the rooms of an “emergency kit available with sanitary napkins, make-up remover and nail polish remover”, “beauty and fitness services on request with flexible hours”, a “yoga mat on demand”, or even “diversified and healthy menus at bars, restaurants and in-room dining”.
All this seems to us – in agreement with our female colleagues consulted – at best incidental (and a little ridiculous), at worst dubious… The “H”, this second impromptu capital letter from the label “SHe Travel” means “Happy”. And these three pillars unrelated to “safety” would justify – if we understand correctly – the reference to happiness.
But why “Happy”? What is happiness doing here? What is he doing in his (slightly disgusting) “marketing” job (since everyone will agree that happiness, in its primary meaning, is a personal matter and not the responsibility of a hotelier, even less the availability of a fitness center) in a label, something quite different from a brand? What is it doing, all the more so, attached to the very serious question of security? And besides, am I, a woman who loves tripe à la mode from Caen and allergic to sport, am I going to find my “happiness” (even in the “marketing” sense!) in an omnipresent and guilt-inducing incentive to move butt and a restaurant menu filled with quinoa?
So why this happiness? We dare not imagine the validity of this hypothesis, it is so detestable… But we are obliged to put it on the table: implicitly, the very unpleasant idea that the “happy”, the “fun”, the futile and the lightness are necessary to engage the female audience. Because the double locks on the bedroom doors are all well and good, but the yoga mat and the bubble tea are still more fun. In any case, SHe Travel stakeholders apparently think it’s more fun. “Plus seller” would certainly be more appropriate.
However – we repeat – if, especially during interviews for the drafting of this series of articles, we have heard a lot of female testimonies on the feeling of insecurity when traveling, of lack of make-up removers or yoga mats, never was there any question. Maybe we didn’t ask the question? Yes, maybe, and even surely. But you know what ? We welcome it.
This week, as we said, SHe Travel is meeting the press. Will the conference be complemented by a Zumba or cupcake-making class? We cannot tell. It will in any case be an opportunity to convince us because for the time being, this is not quite the case. In the meantime, I have to finish getting the aspi because my wife is waiting for me to change the carb of her Kawa. Then I’ll call people from Accor.
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Is the traveler a traveler with a yoga mat? – Professional trips
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