While the season is coming, the signals, whether they come from Ukraine or inflationary pressures, are not all likely to sustain the optimism of tour operators. On the positive side, however, is the recovery of international tourism, which is confirmed and is approaching 2019 levels, with a very significant rebound in Paris in particular, according to the latest Atout France business climate report.
International tourism receipts stood at €4bn in March 2022, only -4% of the pre-pandemic level. Receipts from European customers (Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and the USA are also at their pre-crisis level, or even higher, while flows from China and Japan are still very low.
The domestic market remains very well oriented, generating a volume of overnight stays in France almost at the same level as in 2019 (-4.8%) over the first quarter. For the summer season, travel intentions confirm the strong need for holidays among domestic and European customers who take France as their preferred destination.
In this positive panorama, several points of vigilance are nevertheless raised in the report. First of all, recruitment difficulties, which are very present in the operators' priorities, could impact the offer this summer, and the performance of the sector.
Inflation and purchasing power, which are at the heart of the concerns of both customers and those who serve them, could also influence consumer behavior, mobility and destination choice.
In the medium term, the question of the acceptability of tourism, in particular the rise of C2C rentals, and its effects on property prices, could also become more acute for the French travel and hospitality industry.