The Lagardère group recently announced its intention to enter the hospitality sector with two new concepts based on its flagship magazine Elle: Maison Elle and Elle Hôtel. Maison Elle will open its doors next fall, near the Arc de Triomphe. With 25 rooms, a suite and a spa, it intends to embody “the French Art de vivre” through links with the city, fashion and culture, and talks with inspiring women. As for the Elle Hotel, its opening is, for now, only planned in Mexico. The establishment will be marked by environmental protection and sustainability through collaborations with local female talents, creators and designers.

This news underlines the economic weight of tourism, the new manna able of reinvigorating businesses that struggle to seduce, restaurants tempted into takeaways as well as whole neighborhoods. And too bad if the price to pay is the loss of their identity. Tourists have become the ultimate group to cherish. It has become common to find stores and restaurants made exclusively to appeal to them. Without local roots or authenticity, but conforming to what they are looking for. Fake real breweries, fake old stores or products, fake stories… Some streets of the French capital have already been largely Disneyized.

The future Elle hotels also confirm the changing expectations of travelers, more eager for fun and hedonistic experiences than encounters with local populations. A glimpse at the advertising campaigns currently being created by each country lets us see how interchangeable they are. Street food, spritz on the terrace, massages, beaches, kite surfing, selfies and scooters for all. Sensations presented as unforgettable with similar settings in the background. What matters is no longer to see but to experience.The Lagardère group’s project finally illustrates the temptation of all brands to find a place that embodies themselves. A way for them to exist differently and to renew their relationships with their buyers. The survival of a newspaper or a magazine now depends on its ability to reinvent itself as a brand to be experienced and to pretend to forget that it is originally a brand to be read. It is no longer enough to defend a view to exist.

So What ?

Press publications are expected to exist in new forms: hotels, events, derivative products. And why not, also, to offer food or services?

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