Joe McClain - Jul 8, 2024
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This year, 31.3 million French people plan to go on holiday in July and August, 200,000 fewer than in 2023. Additionally, 1.3 million more French travelers have decided not to pay for accommodation this summer.

In 2024, only 24.1 million French people will opt for paid accommodation (camping, hotel, furnished rental, or holiday village), accounting for 36% of the population and 74% of summer holidaymakers. This decreased from 25.4 million the previous year (38% of the population and 75% of holidaymakers).

Most people giving up paid accommodation reside in rural areas, towns on the outskirts of large cities, and small towns. However, the departure rate of residents of metropolitan regions remains steady, with some areas such as Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes, Rennes, and Strasbourg even experiencing an increase, showcasing their resilience in the face of changing travel trends.

The gap in departure rates between residents of large cities and small towns has increased to 10 points this year compared to 7 points last year (52% compared to 42% in 2024, compared to 51% and 44% in 2023).

10 Million French Travelers Will Go Abroad

If fewer French people go on holiday in France, an additional 500,000 will choose to go abroad for their summer holidays, a significant shift in travel patterns that is sure to intrigue the travel industry.

Ten million French people will decide to go on holidays abroad, particularly favoring Mediterranean destinations such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Maghreb. There is also an increase in trips to the European neighbors and Asia, a trend sure to excite the travel industry. While 40% of holidaymakers from the Paris region are planning to vacation abroad this summer (a rise of 5 points compared to 2023), and 36% of residents of large urban areas (an increase of 4 points), just over 20% of residents of medium-sized and small towns (a decrease of 3 points) are considering traveling beyond the French borders.

Purchasing Power Crisis

The average budget for commercial accommodations is €2,262, with significant variations based on destination. The budget increases by 6% for those vacationing abroad to reach €3,730 per household (which is €215 more than in 2023). However, the average budget for those staying in France is €1,725, a decrease of 7% (i.e., €140 less than in 2023), reflecting the impact of the purchasing power crisis on travel budgets.

34% of French travelers report a reduced vacation budget, while only 10% report an increased budget. Meanwhile, 56% of vacationers say they spend a budget similar to the previous year for their summer vacations. Two-thirds of holidaymakers have made compromises with their regular expenses to go on holiday, including reducing the budget for restaurants and shopping, and, for 50% of them, on paid leisure or cultural activities.

Among the 34% of French holidaymakers with a reduced budget, the adjustments include going away less often (46%), reducing spending on restaurants (40%), going away for shorter periods (36%), choosing closer destinations (33%) and waiting for promotions and good deals (23%). Furthermore, 22% of households going on holiday this summer are spending less than €1,000, 30% between €1,000 and €2,000, 20% between €2,000 and €3,000, and 28% more than €3,000.

It should be noted that nearly 1/4 of French still have not booked their summer holiday, mainly while waiting for promotions one month before departure. This trend of waiting for last-minute promotions is particularly prevalent this year, possibly due to the uncertain travel conditions caused by the pandemic. Suppose August is almost as popular as last year, with 22.6 million departures (23 million in 2023). In that case, July shows a sharp drop with 1.8 million fewer departures, or 17.2 million departures (compared to 18.8 last year).

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