New forms of accommodation

All regions open to tourism. This is the beginning of the destinations and their promotion. Vernet-les-Bains, spa town at the foot of Mount Canigou, has a spa, a casino, fifteen villas scattered throughout the park and intended to be rented in whole or in part to bathers who come to settle with their family, from five to six large hotels, a wonderful garden, a cowshed for whey treatment, a gymnasium for children (Gazette des Eaux, 1881). Throughout France, associations, companies or private individuals create groups of dwellings and subdivisions, subject to the obligation of a development plan approved by the prefect. To seduce the shareholders of the subdivision, architects and developers propose the establishment of ambitious public buildings. As early as 1898, the promoter of the Bois-de-Cisse station, in the Somme, praised it by publishing a propaganda poster featuring all the flagship buildings of the small town (promenade-promenade, hotel , church and casino around a large park) (Toulier, 2004). In reference to the Côte d’Azur, the Landes coast, from the mouth of the Gironde to that of the Adour, was renamed in 1905 by a journalist “Côte d’Argent” because, in this dazzling setting, the Atlantic comes to deposit its silver fringe at the foot of the immaculate dunes and makes unceasingly spring like a white and colossal spark of its contact with the old world “(Toulier, 2004). To attract tourists, one invents, codifies a gastronomy or regional traditions (Berto-Lavenir, 1999). The pauchouse in Verdun on the Doubs, the knights of Tastevin or Saint-Vincent tour-nante are supposed to attract tourists in Burgundy and make them taste wines which suffer, at the beginning of the century, from the succession of mildew crises and phylloxera. Styles are also invented in the interior decorations of the inns. The ideal Forest Fontainebleau would then be to look like a hunting lodge. The Touring Club participates in the creation of a bank to finance the renovation of the hotel industry or the creation of new hotels. This is part of a broader political and economic project. Typical plans are established for mountain hotels. At the same time, powerful companies are investing in the market. In Evian, the Evian Mineral Water Company is created, even if it has only one source. After several modifications, its influence is almost complete since the end of the Second Empire on the station, it bought most of the competing sources, and built a monu-mental hotel (Penez, 2004). At the beginning of the twentieth century, powerful companies were created that exploited springs in several stations, often with the priority of bottling the mineral water. The General Company of Mineral Waters and Sea Baths, an offshoot of the Vichy Spa Farm Company and a public limited company with a capital of 4.8 million francs, has sources in Alet, Allevard, Andabre, Châteldon , Contrexeville, Desaignes, Euzet, Fumades, Salins-du-Jura, St. Gervais, Spa, Vals and Vichy. To this long list are added hotels in Vichy, a casino in Trouville and Vichy (Penez, 2004). The Company of Railways and Mountain Hotels in the Pyrenees (CHM), a specialized subsidiary of the Compagnie du Midi, opened just before the 1914 war, with the help of Crédit Hotelier, the first two high-altitude hotels of great luxury. the Pyrenees on the privileged sites of Font-Romeu and Superbagnères, formerly deserts, for a capacity of three hundred beds and employing no less than one hundred and twenty people handpicked (Bouneau, 2003).

This investment phase continues in the inter-war period. The mundane resorts have a specificity affirmed, they know the apogee of their fame on the eve of the war of 1914, then just in 1928-29 (Boyer, 2005). In the Pyrenees, tourism investments seek to take advantage of a certain democratization of tourist activities and the maintenance of the requirements of luxury, comfort and speed of a high potential clientele with high incomes, a cosmopolitan clientele dominated by Spaniards. The director of the Compagnie du Midi Jean-Paul Raoul wishes to “suissifier” the massif and also declares “that a station conquers the favor of the public and imposes it must be first consecrated by a customer of choice, who establishes the reputation and then determines the mainstream “(Bouneau, 2003). Resorting transcends reality, we sometimes invent a fabulous story at the resorts, like the legendary epics of the conquest of the American West (Toulier, 2004). The sociability rules between “foreigners” contribute to the reputation of the resorts. The presence of celebrities is necessary to launch the resort and maintain its reputation each season. The “lists of foreigners” are published in local gazettes from the registers of hotels (Toulier, 2004). The crisis of 1929, the coming to power of authoritarian regimes in some of our neighboring countries and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War quickly deprived many newly built complexes of some of their foreign clienteles.

The first forms of tourism mobility are touted in the Roaring Twenties by “art deco style” posters. The local mobilities, the most numerous, allow to discover the French Riviera, the Côte d’Azur, winter or summer. The PLM conveys dreams of sunshine all year long, aspirations to the tranquility and wild beauty of the beaches of Antibes, Juan les Pins or Nice. This is also the time of affirmation of the first mountain resorts. Chamonix takes advantage of the first Olympic Winter Games to open its huge snow-covered expanses to the passion of a few “unconscious” lovers of speed and unknown sensations. Winter sports are born in the Northern Alps, the mountain is no longer just the place for summer walk of some tourists idle or in search of sports achievements. Stations are born, like that of Megève. Legend has it that the Baroness Maurice de Rothschild descended in January 1916 in one of the largest hotels in St. Moritz refuses to be forced to rub shoulders with Germans who came, like her, skiing and decided to create in France a station likely to become the equivalent of the big Swiss resort. Advised by her Norwegian ski teacher, she chose the Megève site (Larique, 2006). The creation of this station takes twenty years, twenty years to transform a peaceful village into a station that corrupts the local identity. Dance halls and nightclubs are emerging and, combined with the extravagance and excess of the luxurious lifestyle of a mundane clientele, shock local people who fear that their village will become the “phalansteries of a modernity made of carelessness, pleasure and permissiveness “. The money that is now more easily earned in the hotel or business than in the work of the land, which is not without seduce many young people and without disrupting the rules of the social game (Larique, 2006). The example of the hospitality is here manifest. The hotel capacity of Megève increased from 5 hotels in the years 1922-1923 to 54 in 1936. At that date, 14 (that is to say a ¼) belong to Mégevans.