Christophe Giraud, ” Receive the tourist as a friend. The staging of the home merchant in the guest room “, Acts of Research in Social Sciences, 2007
The service relationship, which is the reception room of hosts, is a relationship market of a particular type. Such is the thesis of Christophe Giraud in his article “to Receive the tourist as a friend. The staging of the home merchant in the guest room”. It must take the form “of a staged market of family privacy,” and this calls into question some of the characteristics of the relationship market pure. “The home aims to create familiarity, atmosphere, which contrasts with a trading framework standardized and anonymous “. Let’s see this in more detail
Gîtes de France requires that tourists be treated ” as friends.” The welcome breakfast is a relationship market, whose interest for the sociologist, is that it must be shaped around the denial of the commercial service rendered. “The ideology of this service paradoxical is expressed in the leitmotif of “Gites de France”, ” to be received as a friend “. Through the commercial service, it is the family, in his dimension home, which must be staged. The standards of the label refer so explicitly to the norms of sociability and friendly practices of the hospitality of welcoming. “
The home merchant who is to rent for one or several nights of rooms to tourists, adds a scene-friendly roles and benefits of service, so that the tourists become the guests who pay for a service, the ” paying guests “. This relationship market is located in a space between the two : it combines the features of the service activity, the rental of a room, the closer of the service product in a hotel, but also specific characteristics, which require welcoming to adopt vis-à-vis the customers in a certain behavior. The one which is precisely not to treat them as such. And the breakfasts are “offered” to the hosts, suggesting a relationship in non-market, but it is an obligation imposed by Gîtes de France, ” it is in fact a gift obligation that is part of the deliverables, and advertised : the breakfast is a kind of commercial gesture “.
“The staging of a domestic universe is necessary to the production of the impression of a friendly welcome, and family-friendly: it enables city dwellers to have an experience that wants to be authentic with the indigenous residents of a region, an experience in a true family. “One can discern a hint of pathos, and ethnocentrism among potential clients of Gîtes de France, city-dwellers coming to see how we can live out in the country… As noted by the author in his article,” the welcoming, often have to forge links in a situation of strong social differences ” and ” try to avoid being assimilated by their hosts to domestic exploitable to thank you.”
To receive the “tourist friend” is therefore to “euphémiser the relationship market” so that tourists can feel comfortable. Prevent the application of its guests, need to refresh, need of towels or extra blankets…to avoid the clients having to ask the owner and, therefore, to place themselves in the situation of the service dealer. “To prevent the requests of the tourists back to prevent that these reports are made visible and strengthened, and to change the framework of interpretation of the situation. Two attitudes that are routinely used by the owners seem to fulfill this function : to make available and provide verbally to the paying guests objects and services. “Another modality of management of the relationship is for the service provider to provide services and goods not provided for in the Charter. It is on the “sides” of the relationship, from the aperitif to the washing, to the tour of the farm, etc. offered to the tourists, as welcoming create familiarity. “Part of the interaction can also be transformed by other productions : the presentation of certain foods or objects that are regional is a matter of small games. “. The time of settlement is the one time where the relationship of familiarity built during the stay is broken. It detonates compared to the rest of the relationship, because it reminds us of the institutionalised framework and merchant of the relationship.