The 2023 season looks more uncertain than last year for Corsican hoteliers. Pre-season results are mixed. The main reasons are the fierce competition from other, less expensive tourist destinations and the ever-increasing number of furnished vacation rentals.
The first pre-season figures don't bode well for Corsican hotels. This trend is confirmed by the first feedback from hoteliers to the Union des Métiers et des Industries de l'Hôtellerie: in May, Corsican hotel professionals reported a drop in occupancy rates of between -27 and -55%.
Based on the number of bookings, the figures expected for August are also worrying: hoteliers expect a drop of between -31 and -78%.
Cheaper destinations and a growing number of furnished vacation rentals
Last-minute stays could prove these predictions wrong. The problem is that Corsica's tourism suffers from the return of competing destinations inaccessible last year because of COVID.
This year, most travelers from mainland France have chosen to vacation in Mediterranean destinations. As a result, Corsica faces competition from these destinations, which offer more affordable prices. Transport costs in Corsica remain high, making it less accessible for travelers.
The hotel industry is declining, which can also be partly attributed to increased competition from companies like Airbnb, Booking, and Abritel. In Corsica, traditional hotels have 147,000 beds available, 20% less than the number of beds offered by furnished tourist accommodations with 181,000 registered beds. This represents a 13% increase over last year.
These accommodations have fewer restrictions than traditional hotels and are often cheaper. With inflation, people are turning to more affordable accommodations, like furnished vacation rentals, so the hotel business is inevitably affected.