Published on :
Tourist presences in France have recovered despite the fires and inflation, with undeniable success for the French coasts.
Campsites, hotels, furnished rentals, trains: France experienced a prosperous tourist season this summer despite fires and inflation.
“We are almost identical to 2019,” Didier Arino, chief executive of the Protourisme company, told AFP. According to him, the number of overnight stays in hotels has increased by 2% compared to the pre-pandemic situation before the pandemic while the turnover has increased by 17%. The trend is also on the rise for campsites or furnished rentals, Didier Arino also notes.
Solange Escure, national director of Gîtes de France, confirms to AFP a “very good season”: occupancy rates have continued to rise to reach 86% in August (+6 points compared to 2019). “Between July 23 and August 20, the rates were as high as 100%,” she adds.
“We are on track for 2022 to be better than 2019”, which was already a record year, rejoices Nicolas Dayot, president of the National Federation of Outdoor Hotels (FNHPA). The latter expects 130 million overnight stays for all of 2022, which is one million more than in 2019.
>> Also read: Fires in the Gironde: an ecological disaster and forest management to be rethought
“It’s a fantastic summer, a record summer,” Christophe Fanichet, CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, told AFP. The company will have carried 23 million passengers in July and August on TGV and Intercités in France. Including international travel (Thalys, Eurostar, connections with Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain), the total rises to 28 million. “It makes 10% more travelers overall than in the summer of 2019,” according to him.
Paris has benefited from the return of foreigners, especially Americans: according to the Paris Tourist Office, 9.9 million have visited the capital since the beginning of June (-3.5% compared to 2019).
Prime coasts, overlooked rural destinations
The preferred destination remains the coast, “especially the Mediterranean coast, but we also have excellent performances in Normandy and on the Atlantic coast – except for the part affected by the fires”, according to Didier Arino.
Hotels in the PACA region have almost regained their 2019 occupancy rate despite prices having increased by more than 30%, as has Normandy, where the price increase is less strong – between 10 and 15% – according to the MKG Consulting company.
The coast, which, “in a normal year, represents 50% of attendance”, “is a success”, according to the president of the FNHPA. “The first two weeks of July, being cheaper, filled up well and the month of August, which usually accounts for 38% of total activity”, has progressed, he adds, taking the example of Brittany where 77% of campsites say they “did better than in 2019”.
“It was more complicated for the mountains and some rural destinations like the Dordogne,” Didier Arino points out. Internal territories “such as the Gers or the Dordogne”, rediscovered during the Covid-19 by the French who usually went abroad, have not found the “same dynamic”, confirms Nicolas Dayot. “We believe that these tourists went abroad this summer.”
Jean-Pierre Mas, president of Entreprises du Voyage, notes compared to 2019 “a slight drop in the number of departures in July-August of around 5%, but an increase in budgets of 23%” for stays “on average extended by almost one day”.
Even those who stayed in France had a good time as the amusement parks were full. With an attendance of between 750,000 and 800,000 visitors in July-August, Parc Astérix recorded a 20% growth compared to 2019, François Fassier, director of parks at the Compagnie des Parcs, told AFP.Alps. The progression is similar for the Futuroscope and the smaller structures of the group – such as the Walibi park or the Grévin museum.
Disneyland Paris does not communicate a figure but confirms to AFP “a very positive dynamic” this summer.
With the AFP