During the end of the year celebrations, only 1,500 hotel rooms out of the 5,000 in Cannes were open for business. Cannes tourism sector is currently in a serious state of flux.
Foreign visitors are still at the bottom of the trough with a hotel capacity reduced to less than a third according to Christine Welter, president of the Cannes hoteliers' union.
For the 5-star hotels, which are numerous in the city of festivals, only two remained open (the Martinez and the Majestic Barrière). They reduced their capacity by half, for a mainly French clientele taking advantage of a rate that is much lower than what is usually charged during this holiday period.
As for the four-star hotels, half of them remained open with very low occupancy rates such as 60 to 70% for New Year's Eve.
Finally, in terms of 2- and 3-star properties, many establishments have remained closed, as Christian Giordano, the vice-president of the hoteliers' union, points out.
But the worst is yet to come with the announcements concerning Cannes' business tourism, trade shows and conventions, Cannes' main activity, with questions about the maintenance of professional trade shows scheduled at the Palais des Festivals.
The IPEM Cannes, an investment fair scheduled for February 1, 2 and 3, is threatened, while the first Festival of Artificial Intelligence, scheduled for February 10 to 12, has preferred to postpone the event to April.
This is worrying because in the fall Cannes was hoping for a big boost in its business tourism, already hit hard by two years of Covid-19.