Following the opening of ticket sales for the men's rugby competition in September 2022, there was a significant surge in flight bookings of international travelers to France. Domestic flight reservations increased by 366%, European flights saw a 267% rise, and international flights experienced a 127% jump.
Although a boost in tourism for France is anticipated during September and October 2023 due to the competition, other data indicate that the event's impact on tourism was primarily concentrated at the beginning of the year regarding reservation activity. Despite the generally positive figures, the growth rate has declined compared to January 2023 for bookings made during September and October 2023.
Reservations Are Concentrated on January Only
It's worth noting that in January, there was a notable surge in searches for flights to France in September and October, with a 234% and 250% increase, respectively, compared to the previous year. However, it's expected that starting from June 2023, the year-on-year growth for September travel bookings will be just 2%, and for October travel bookings, it will be 13%.
Flight bookings for September and October in 2023 are higher than in the previous year, but the growth rate has slowed since the beginning of the year. This could be because international travelers were looking for better deals earlier in the year, anticipating high demand and the subsequent increase in air fares associated with the Rugby competition.
Pride to National and European Travelers
Many French fans will be in the stadium cheering on their national team. They have made the highest number of reservations (24%), followed by English, Welsh, and Scottish supporters (9%).
It's worth noting that many international travelers plan to visit and experience the competition, even if their country isn't participating. This is especially true for North American travelers, who made 24% of flight searches in the last 30 days. However, travelers from Germany, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Belgium, Switzerland, and Mexico are also among the top 15 countries whose citizens plan to visit France during the World Cup.
2023 Rugby Championship - the Opportunity for Marketers
Based on the observations of reservation periods, most international travelers (69%) prefer to stay in France for the World Cup for up to two weeks. This presents an excellent opportunity for destination marketers to leverage this travel intention data to encourage longer stays. This will enable them to get the most out of them.
Suppose your hotel is fully booked during a competition. In that case, it is suggested to maintain your online presence by sharing the details of your amenities, such as restaurants and spas, to ensure that customers know what you offer and where they can spend their spare time when they're not supporting their favorite team.