Vanderlei J. Pollack - Apr 17, 2017
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Almost 2 million travelers visited the French capital in December 2016, reports the Paris economic tourism observatory. A slight increase from December 2014.

Travelers are flocking back to the hotels in Paris. The latest edition of the monthly dashboard of the Office of Tourism and Congress of Paris highlights the recovery of tourist visits to the French capital. In December 2016, hotel bookings increased by +19.5% in the Greater Paris area, compared to December 2015, and reached 1.8 million visits. With an increase of +0.2%, compared to December 2014, tourism is returning to a level equivalent to that before the series of attacks in January 2015.

As the Tourism Office points out, this situation is due to the return of the national clientele. In this category, there was an increase of +13.4% in arrivals compared to 2015 and +2.0% compared to 2014. Business tourism recorded +20.6% in overnight hotel stays compared to 2015.

There is only one downside:  the arrivals of foreign travelers globally. While the Office of Tourism and Congress of Paris recorded an overall increase of 27.8% compared with December 2015, it continues to decline (-1.9%) compared with 2014. Hotels in Paris welcome international clientele with open arms as they tend to spend more.

However, certain nationalities are returning to the capital. “The United States and China have a higher volume of arrivals than in December 2015 (+24.7% for the United States and +40.8% for China) and in December 2014 (respectively +31.2% and +40.2%).”

“Americans and the Chinese have never been more numerous in hotels in the Greater Paris area during the month of December,” the report reads. Hotel arrivals from European travelers in December 2016 are up from 2015; the report notes an increase of +19.5% for the Italians, +30.5% for the Spaniards and the Belgians, as well as +36.5% for the Germans. On the other hand, all of them remain well below the level of December 2014.

Other countries also show arrivals superior to those in December 2014. “These increases are particularly noticeable for Asian and Oceanic countries” (+34.9% compared to 2015, +23.7% compared with 2014); for the Far and Middle East (+47.9% and +16.8%); and for Africa; (+26.2% and +13.5%).

“Given the growing weight of these new issuing countries and the potential that they represent, the increase in the volume of this clientele is an encouraging sign for 2017,” the document details.

If the 2016 figures are good, those of January 2017 are also promising. The occupancy rate for hotels in Paris is up +10.7 points and +8.4 points for the Greater Paris area. “In line with 2016, average prices are still falling. But the increase in occupancy rates allows for a significant increase in RevPAR (Revenue per available room, an indicator of economic hotel performance),” the report details.

Another indicator that should be taken into account is passenger traffic at Paris airports. This is up +7.7% compared to January 2016. In detail, it was the most efficient means of transport, with an increase of +10.2% over the same period.

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