From a legal point of view, the concepts of tourist lodgings and holiday cottages are not defined by regulation. Only some tourism promotion networks have formulated a definition of these concepts as part of their quality charter.
Generally speaking, the gîte d'étape is a type of accommodation designed to accommodate hikers, cyclists or riders. In principle, the gîtes d'étape are located on a recognised hiking route (GR, FFRP...) or are located less than 2 km from these routes and give priority to overnight accommodation.
A B&B is a type of accommodation designed to accommodate groups or families for a stay of a weekend, a week or more. The gîtes de séjour are large capacity gîtes, generally between 12 and 50 people, which can accommodate families or groups.
Unlike the rural gîte,which corresponds to a furnished accommodation with a private vocation, the gîtes d'étape and the gîtes de séjour have a collective dimension. In this context, the operator of this type of establishment may offer catering services or the provision of a freely managed kitchen.