Interview with Claude Michel, president of the Association of Tourism -Acteurs ATD durably

Who are you?

I am Claude Michel, president of the association href="" ATD which features some journalists and professionals tourism. I professionally operates in the tourism world for 35 years. I was, among others, holiday villages director in social tourism, director of the National Federation of Tourist Offices for 15 years and have participated in the creation of the NGO Tourism without Borders. It's been a month since I am the head of ATD. We network, inform and ensure the promotion of French tourism professionals working for sustainable development.

What is the eco-profile travelers in France today?

In all, eco-travelers represent 5% of world travelers. In France, they are independent travelers, mostly between 35 and 50, are of provincial origin and belong to the professional category of executives and professionals. So these are individuals with middle and high income. Despite increased awareness campaigns on the environment, this is still a small elite, the objective of ATD is to continue the effort of awareness of French travelers.

And you, what kind of traveler are you?

I am an independent traveler, I prepared myself my travels. I like adventure and discovery. For me the click of the trip is the desire to see what is different from home. As such, I am fighting for the non-standardization of landscapes and cities. Today whatever the continent, all the outskirts of cities are invaded by brands and franchises, it is regrettable. When I travel I look for a change of scenery and authenticity.

Your most beautiful destinations?

The African continent without hesitation. I like the contagious optimism of the population. I admire their psychological strength and philosophy that always puts quality of being; for us who live in a society that values ​​have is a real lesson of happiness. And Africa they are also beautiful landscapes. Whether it is the deserts of North Africa, West and Central Africa and Madagascar. This may be the place in Africa that I remember most. It is an island continent that has extraordinary sites, it takes a long time to discover and really measure the extent of its beauty.

Your worst travel memory?

Probably the Spanish coast. I deplore the concentration of certain coastlines. All these people gathered on beaches, for me it is far from happiness. Urban life is already stressful enough, why inflict it on vacation?

What is the trip you dream of doing?

Probably India. It is a destination that attracts me. This is a very exotic country, whether in terms of spirituality, lifestyles, smells, spices, colors and music. I strongly believe in tourism of the 5 senses, we move with our senses, in search of new sensations and different.

What is your next trip?

I returned from Cameroon where I was on a mission. For my work, I travel a lot in Africa. I have been in Mali, Niger, Casamance. My next destination will probably Guinea.

Finally, in 3 words, what is the trip for you?

The journey is the difference, the discovery of the other; it's also moving and change of scenery, I'm happy when I'm moving and finally it is above all the encounter, through exchanges you learn a lot with local people, rather than in books.