A recent study by the Fédération Réunionnaise du Tourisme and Ipsos Océan Indien made it possible to measure the impact of tourism industry on Reunion's economy. Between March 2017 and February 2018, domestic tourism generated a record turnover of 700 million euros.
''The Reunionese made nearly 4 500 000 stays on the island of at least one night, a large majority of which are commercial nights (hotel, guest house,…). These services represent an absolutely essential source of income for the local tourism sector", explains L'Àle de La Réunion Tourisme.
"In addition, each month, 326,000 locals make at least one excursion to the Reunion Island outside their commune of residence. At the rate of 5 to 6 monthly outings, Réunionese account for more than 21 million annual excursions outside their commune of residence, of which more than 4 million include a paid activity."
As a result, 2017 has been described as an exceptional year and has helped to place the tourism sector at the top of the local economic sectors, according to the authors of the study.
"For the first time in the history of local tourism, the symbolic billion euros is reached and exceeded." It corresponds to the amount of local tourism industry combined with incoming tourism - a majority of tourists coming from metropolitan France - which represented 358.1 million euros in 2017.
Last year, 507,563 tourists and 43,276 cruise passengers visited Reunion Island. A record for the destination in terms of tourism revenues. With an average stay of 17 days, a family spends 1,249 euros locally, whereas preparing for the trip has already cost an average of 1,984 euros.
This first study should lead others in the future. "It therefore highlights the attachment of Reunion Islanders to their territory and the importance of further developing incoming tourism, which has experienced an unprecedented growth dynamic for the past two years,” stated the study.