November 6, 2008

Accommodations in private homes: one of the 2009 CMA’s keys to success

By Anne Godin

When everything goes as planned this August, plenty of tourists will flock to the Acadian Peninsula for the 2009 CMA and the population of this coastal area will be helping welcome them by supplying accommodations.

Since the summer of 2007, the CMA team has been categorizing over 700 available accommodations that are now accessible on the CMA’s website in the Accommodations (hébergement privé (private accommodation section. These accommodations are targeted to all visitors who weren’t able to book rooms in more traditional establishments.

Many of these offered accommodations are already fully booked. According to CMA program director, Jocelyne Thériault, these results show just how great the initiative is. “These private accommodations will satisfy the need of those who weren’t able to reserve rooms at commercial hotels and campgrounds. Additionally, this arrangement will help the area truly benefit from the affluence of tourists that will come to the Congrès and that’s very positive for the Peninsula, not only for 2009 but also for many years to come. Once the tourists get a taste of our hospitality and Acadian culture, they most certainly will want to come back again and again!”

The goal of the program is to recruit a total of 2,500 available accommodation options by January 2009 and to succeed, the CMA team will be intensifying their efforts and to do so, they have hired Marie-Michelle Vienneau. “My work will consist of finalizing certain accommodations projects that have been initiated and to receive and process new requests that come in.” she explains. “By August 2009, you can be sure that I will have left no stone unturned and no area unvisited in the entire Acadian Peninsula!”

As part of her job, Marie-Michelle will have to ensure that accommodations comply with certain criteria deemed important for hosts. “ For example, we must be sure that every place and facility that will be accessible to visitors, be it a property (home, cottage, camper) or campground are covered by an adequate liability insurance, have working smoke detectors, and that there is at least one window in every room destined for visitors,” assures Thériault. These facts are verified during a visit to the property and if everything is compliant, pictures are taken and the pertinent information is added to the CMA website.

Thanks to this web tool, people that will be visiting from outside of the Acadian Peninsula and want to reserve this type of lodging can contact the hosts directly to make arrangements. It is important to mention that these options are offered from August 6th to 24th only and that the Congrès mondial acadien is only acting as an intermediary between the owners and the visitors searching for lodging during this peak period.
« It is also important for the owners of registers accommodations to inform the CMA when they are fully booked for the period. » Vienneau indicates. “Therefore, we are able to keep the website as up to date as possible and this avoids unnecessary requests to come in to the owners”