A tourist residence is a classified commercial accommodation establishment operated on a year-round or seasonal basis. It comprises a homogenous set of furnished rooms or apartments set out in collective blocks or pavilions, hired out for occupation on a daily, weekly or monthly basis by tourists who do not elect domicile there. It has a minimum level of common facilities and services. In all cases, it is managed by a single individual or legal entity.
A tourist residence can be composed of a variety of accommodation types: apartments, rooms, mobile homes (camping type).
Tourist residences are classified under the new Atout France standards in force since July 2012. They are rated from 1 to 5 stars.
This type of accommodation is growing strongly. Initially designed in the 1970s to develop the rental accommodation available in winter sports resorts, tourist residences have now appeared on the coast and even, to some extent, in cities and the countryside. In urban areas, these residences often accommodate students outside holiday times. All owners of accommodation units in a tourist residence wishing to benefit from a range of tax incentives must put it out for rent for a minimum period (9 years) by the operator of the residence (Pierre et Vacances, Maeva, Orion, Citadines, etc). The said operator takes charge of finding tenants, collecting rents and maintaining the residence. The owner is therefore totally relieved of managing their property and receives the rental income. At the term of the initial lease (9 years), the owner may renew the initial lease, sell their property or take possession of it. To benefit from reduced-rate VAT, part of the accommodation (15% of accommodation capacity) must be entrusted to a tour operator.
Therefore, for each tourist residence, the date of its creation should be checked in order to measure any possible changes in its accommodation capacity after 9 years. It would also appear interesting to find out as quickly as possible whether there is a tour operator present or not.
How to distinguish between a "hotel" and a "tourist residence"
The services provided by hotels are more extensive than those in tourist residences: daily breakfasts and room cleaning, or supply of bathroom linen. The accommodation units in residences must be equipped with a kitchen or kitchen area and private sanitary facilities. The uniform nature of the accommodation units required of tourist residences is not a requirement for hotels.