What makes Clément Simonneau a Global Shaker?
Clément Simonneau is co-founder of Les Oiseaux de Passage (Birds of Passage), a collective of collectives that fights to ensure the hospitality industry acts “with respect for human rights, the dignity of one another and without discriminating against anyone.”
In essence, Les Oiseaux de Passage points travelers towards local activities that are sustainable and ecological, as a different way of travelling. It’s mostly based around France, but also has some suggestions for Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy, with recommendations for accommodation and other activities.
So around the Pays de Ploermel, home to 70,000 people, it points travelers to a sustainable bakery which is only open for 2 days a week, because the rest of the time the baker is focusing on his career in music. Or to a museum and cultural activities at the Poete Ferrallieur’s universe, a higgledy-piggledy house / boat contraption. Interestingly, these activities are covered by a new local currency, The Galais, which was created to promote non-speculative local trade, economic development that meets the needs of all, and to promote the consumption of local products and services.
“Are you traveling alone or in a group, for work or leisure, and you want to prepare a unique trip off the beaten track?,” the website asks.
“For you it is the promise of a human to human journey, of a responsible journey.”
Working as a cooperative since 2018, Les Oiseaux de Passage is a collaboration between Hotel du Nord, Marseille; Ekitour; Point Carré; the Minga Network and 5 physical partners.
The founders stress that the economy is a means, not an end. The organisation brings people together from culture, tourism, education, local development and the social and solidarity economy. The shared goals include the free movement of people, the preservation of the environment, and popular education.
Before co-founding Les Oiseaux de Passage in 2016, Simonneau worked in campsites, tourism offices, in incoming tourism in Peru and outgoing tourism in France. “So I saw different points of the tourist chain, which enabled me to understand how it works, its mechanisms and its users,” he writes on Linkedin.
He also spent four years, from 2013-17, as Study and Support Officer in Tourism Engineering for Ekitour, the association of social and solidarity tourism. Here he carried out tourism studies for tourism professionals and local authorities.
Simonneau holds a Master’s degree in Professional Tourism and Sustainable Development, with a focus on nature and ecotourism, from The Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier. He has a second Master’s degree in Tourism and Heritage from Université Lumiere in Lyon.Tags: France, Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel, tourism
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