This is a return to pre-crisis levels for a large number of French hoteliers: most destinations have shown an increase in their performance compared to 2019, including in urban areas. The spring holidays were marked by a new wave of tourists on the coast, while Paris confirms its return to favor. And the slight deficit in attendance was compensated by a strong upward momentum in prices.
For the spring vacation period, which ran from April 9 to May 9 for the three zones combined, France recorded an increase in performance of +3.1% compared to the same period before the health crisis. An explanation that lies both in a gradual return to normal on the attendance side (only -8.1 points from the 2019 standards) and in a considerable increase in average price (+12.3% at the scale national, all ranges combined).
In terms of range, the economy segment is the one that now remains the “most on the margins” with a very limited delay, however (-1.7% drop in RevPAR). Conversely, the high-end segment now shows a +5.3% increase in RevPAR thanks to a rebound in the price level (+20.5%). Attendance is also back to satisfactory levels with a difference of “only” -12.6 points relative to the 2019 spring holidays, attesting to the return of foreigners, the traditional clientele of high-end establishments.
International customers are therefore back in France and the general acceleration of the Leisure recovery is enabling the French hotel industry to return to almost its pre-Covid levels. The mild weather obviously also contributed to a desire to travel.
With the exception of Burgundy, Hauts-de-France, Normandy, New Aquitaine and Occitania, all the regions have reached or even for the most part exceeded the standards for hotel income before crisis. Among the key regions for these holidays, Corsica and Pays de la Loire stood out with +12.1% and +9.3% activity respectively compared to 2019.
In general, the Atlantic coast excels with +16.7% of RevPAR. If the explanation lies partly in a rise in prices, it is also and above all the only coastal area to have regained and surpassed its pre-COVID attendance (+2.0 points). The agglomerations of Saint-Nazaire / La Baule and La Rochelle contributed particularly to this with increases of +25.2% and +24.5% in RevPAR, respectively, over the period.
Having suffered for a long time from the absence of foreign and particularly British and long-haul customers, the Mediterranean and particularly the Côte d’Azur are also recovering, now showing a +6.1% increase in RevPAR. Nice is witness to this with a +1.9% increase in its RevPAR, and only 9.8 fewer attendance points compared to 2019. Marseille-Aix confirms its momentum, with +10% compared to 2019.
If the coast is still on the rise, note however the performance of Paris, The results of the capital, leading bookings since the beginning of April, are confirmed by the facts: Paris has not only recorded a very low significant relative to 2019 (-5.0 pts for an occupancy rate of around 80%) but also an average price up by +15.5% compared to the same pre-crisis period, thus allowing it to sign a increase of +9.7% in RevPAR relative to 2019. If this increase is to be put into perspective given the inflation of the past three years, and relative to the Province (which shows +2.8% in RevPAR thanks to +10, 1% price increase) the catch-up momentum is now confirmed for Paris.
But if the coast and Paris are the stars of the spring, the Province off the coast as a whole is also back to its seasonal standards (+0.7% of RevPAR). Long left on the sidelines due to the health crisis, large cities are finally regaining some momentum. Lyon notably posted an increase of +11.4% in RevPAR and almost returned to its historical levels of attendance (-1.4 points of TO). In the region, Grenoble is also on the rise. However, this recovery is not yet homogeneous, and other major cities are still below their pre-crisis standards, such as Bordeaux (-11.7%) or Lille (-9.8%).
However, despite these few scattered clouds, the overall landscape is frankly sunny. With such results in the spring, hoteliers can only smile in the light of the summer season.
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