Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Perseverance pays off!

After we had been summoned by our mayor to start paying tourist tax, we found out that somehow in the process we had ended up on the address list of the Office de Tourisme (OT) in Saint-Gengoux-le-National. Saint-Gengoux is the “capital” of the Canton Cormatin is part of, and is located approx. 10 km from here. The OT in Cormatin (only open during the summer months) is a branch of the one in Saint-Gengoux.
Early 2008 all of a sudden we received an invitation for the assembleé générale of the OT. Of course we went, got a lecture on the costs made the previous year and on the achievements of the same year, and were asked to join up with the OT. For € 30 we had the right to leave brochures or flyers in their office, and for € 2 extra we would get a mention in their yearly brochure and on their website. Well, € 32 is not the end of the world, so we coughed up the dosh and were all of a sudden full fledged members of the OT. What was going to happen next was a bit of a mystery. By the beginning of 2009 we found out that at least our Camping à la ferme was mentioned on a poster displayed on the door of both OT’s, and we were invited to come to the yearly meeting of 2009. During the meeting we were a bit more pro-active, and asked what we actually had been paying for last year. Proudly the chairwoman showed us the brochure for 2009, where our name was prominently displayed under Campsites as well as under Gîtes rurales. For a mention on the website however they needed some more information.
In June 2009, after numerous visits to the OT, phone calls and emails we finally got a mention on the website. At the same yearly meeting we were asked if we would mind to host the vin d’amitié for a Balade Patrimoine organised by the OT Cormatin. The Balade would start in Cormatin, and would end at La Tuilerie in Chazelle. They would visit a couple of old buildings with an industrial past, like a derelict watermill, a former power plant and our old tile factory. We would serve drinks for the walkers and give them a guided tour around the drying shed and the kiln. On 15 July, late in the afternoon, around 20 walkers strolled through our gate. We had the tables ready, glasses, drinks and cakes were on standby, and after a little welcome speech we gave them the promised tour.
The whole thing turned out to be quite a success. The people were genuinely interested, had lots of questions which we answered as good as we could, and some even asked whether they could have a look at one of the gîtes that was empty. And, although the whole process of getting from the OT what we wanted took a long time, it has already paid off. We now get inquiries for the gîtes through them, and we have already had a number of campers which would not have found us if not through them.
The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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