[CRISIS management] Nature Escape Petite-Vallée: brake better to leave

[GÉRER LA CRISE] Évasion Nature Petite-Vallée: freiner pour mieux repartir 

[GÉRER LA CRISE] Évasion Nature Petite-Vallée: freiner pour mieux repartir 

Émilie LeBlanc Laberge, professional, leisure, culture and tourism


May 19, 2020 4: 00

Updated at 9h58


[CRISIS management] Nature Escape Petite-Vallée: brake better to leave

[GÉRER LA CRISE] Évasion Nature Petite-Vallée: freiner pour mieux repartir 

[GÉRER LA CRISE] Évasion Nature Petite-Vallée: freiner pour mieux repartir 

Simon Carmichael

Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun

The pandemic of sars coronavirus changes everything for the entrepreneurs here who suffer from it, but that bounce in front of the storm, together with their employees and, sometimes, bring about new ways of doing things. We are going to meet them in this series “Manage the crisis”.

  • Companies: Nature Escape Small Valley, The Cottage at Joe’s, and The House Madran
  • Type: accommodation, tourism and adventure
  • Contact: Emilie LeBlanc Laberge, professional, leisure, culture and tourism

Q Your situation before the crisis

R two, we have four companies, three of which tourist. A joint venture rental of holiday homes, a cottage, a company of outdoor package, all-inclusive, and a office of accounting services.

For the enterprises of tourist accommodation, bookings for the summer of 2020 was very good. We were at almost 100 % occupancy for periods of the Games of the Elders and the Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée. The revenues generated could pay our two employees, running expenses and maintenance of the houses that belong to us.

I also started at the beginning of the winter of my business from fixed price payments the open air. It was in preparation for the seasons of spring and autumn.

With my boyfriend, we also had expansion projects at the cottage: living / dining room, two suites, improved public spaces, existing and storage space for outdoor equipment and large cloakroom.

Q How did you react to the prohibition of rent of tourist facilities?

R The side contractor we felt different emotions: frustration, the stress, the optimism and the hope of a tourist season and, finally, the disappointment of seeing a part of the season cancelled…

Then came prohibition, the rental of tourist accommodation. It also has a significant impact on the company packages the open air. Our human side has understood the decisions of the public health, but now, we want clear guidelines to allow for the opening of tourism in Gaspésie.

[GÉRER LA CRISE] Évasion Nature Petite-Vallée: freiner pour mieux repartir 

Émilie LeBlanc Laberge in front of The House Madran

Special Collaboration Simon Carmichael

Q How has it changed your practice?

R For the accommodation, we had to change our renovation project and we are on our guard for the reservation is taken. Our welcoming practices will change also; the protection measures will most certainly be suggested and we will respect. The human warmth is an integral part of the service we offer, and at two meters of distance, it is difficult. We hope to be able to, one day, to once again offer this experience of a holiday with the recognised reception of the Gaspé peninsula.

In regards to the packages the open air, one must have a reflection on the development in the short and medium term of the company, options to adjust the services to meet the social distancing and other health prescriptions.

Q What were the damages caused by the crisis?

R For the accommodation, the loss of income affects our cash flow to pay the current charges. In addition, all bookings for the spring have had to be cancelled. Only for reservations at the lodge at Joe’s, the period of the Festival in song representing approximately 20 % of the annual turnover, while July and August are about 60 %. For the residences of tourism, the Festival song represents approximately 12 % of the annual turnover, while July and August represent 75 %. The expansion of the cottage had to be rescheduled due to the stop of the tourist activities and the uncertainty about the timing and the shape of the recovery.

Our firm fixed price payments, start-up, has the right to the measures of Support to self-employed workers (STA), which has as its goal to supplement the income of enterprises during the first year of activity. The containment measures and the tourist economy is on pause, we can no longer afford of activity since march or participate in the various fairs and promotional opportunities.

Not knowing when tourism may resume in the Gaspé peninsula, it is difficult to make the promotion, all the more for packages of outdoor activities with gite accommodation and catering. On the financial plan, it is difficult since I do not currently have business income and I do not have access to the measures of government subsidies: I don’t have a payroll, and the measuring STA blocks the Delivery of canadian emergency, even if the payments are considerably lower.

On the mental plane, it is also difficult. To start a business is a major life decision that naturally involves a host of advantages, but also significant investments. Having to be on pause in full launch brings a lot of stress.

However, where there are injuries, there are happy. This is the case of the business of accounting services for my spouse. The vast majority of its clients requests for the procedures of aid measures, which gives them more work. In addition, the relaxation times of the two levels of government allows him to share his time between the business support and regular operations of the past.

Q How do you see the post-crisis?

R In terms of tourism, if the public Health allows the tourist stays in Quebec, it provides for a great season. Quebeckers, who will have the means to travel will do so in the different regions of the province, and may be the bite for the following years! We started to have requests for reservations for tourist homes; conditional on government measures, of course.

Our great desire is to be able to welcome tourists in the summer of 2020. The Corporation of the tourism industry (CITQ) has already implemented sanitary measures related to the COVID-19 in order to ensure the safety of visitors and residents. With the participation of all, we are convinced that the tourist season will proceed in a safe manner.

Obviously, costs are associated with these different health measures are mandatory. We hope the intelligent help of our governments, for all stakeholders in the tourist industry.

Q What are the lessons that you will take the crisis as an entrepreneur?

R One thing is for sure, we understand that nothing is acquired. Even if we try to prepare for all contingencies, he must also be ready to face an unexpected event. It is necessary to be able to reinvent itself. This is what we plancherons as soon as we have a tourist calendar.

Le Soleil

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