Île de la Réunion Tourisme (IRT) recently published positive figures for the fiscal year of 2016, congratulating themselves for having had an “intense year of tourism”. The Reunion tourism companies welcomed around 458 000 tourists last year, approaching their all-time record of 471 300 recorded arrivals in 2011.
These results represent an increase in the visitation rate of almost 7.5% compared to 2015 and confirms this destination's positive momentum – this year represents the third consecutive year of increased tourism.
Of course, mainland France still represents the island destination's largest market, accounting for 80% of their tourism clientele – some 369 000 tourists. The number of French clients has even shown a clear increase of 15.5%.
The Reunion tourism dynamic is positive across the board: the island welcomed 21 574 Mauritian tourists last year (+7.3%), 9 800 Belgian tourists (+21%) and 36 463 nationals from other European Union member states (+1.3%). This is only the second time that tourism to La Réunion has crossed the symbolic threshold of 36 000 European tourists in one year.
Last year, around 369 800 visitors (+10.5%) made their way to La Réunion for leisure purposes, spending an average of 18.3 days. Business tourism was less dynamic and only accounted for 52 500 visitors (+5.5%).
Taken all together, the average stay of a visitor to La Réunion was 17.8 days in 2016. The increase in visitation has allowed the island to accrue a tourism revenue of 325.7 million euros – all sectors combined. More specifically: 41.7% in the accommodation sector, 16.9% in the vehicle rental sector, and 15.8% in the restoration sector.