Solid State

John Wagner George Sell Uploaded

As the financial impact of the pandemic on the hospitality and travel sectors becomes more apparent, there has been talk in a number of countries about the nationalisation of certain companies which have been propped up with huge amounts of government support.

Here in the UK, the railway system and British Airways have been mentioned as potential candidates for nationalisation - an ethos very much out of step with our government's principles - and in France, Air France and in some quarters, even Accor, have been mentioned. Yesterday Accor secured a massive new line of credit from a consortium of banks, so I think we can safely say its future is not under state ownership.

France is much more keen on the concept of nationalisation, but it certainly came as a bolt from the blue when the country announced it was planning to build its own OTA to compete with the likes of Booking and Airbnb.

The initiative is part of the government’s larger stimulus package to help revive travel and hospitality, which prime minister Édouard Philippe described as "one of the crown jewels of the French economy". Philippe announced an €18 billion rescue package for the sector, which will include €1.3 billion in direct cash injections, as well as access to solidarity fund grants of €10,000 for businesses with over 20 employees.

No timescale was placed on the construction of the OTA but it is certainly an intriguing prospect.



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