TOURISM IN NICE: SURPRISINGLY SUCCESSFUL SUMMER SEASON

Justin N. Froyd - Sep 13, 2021
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Despite the surge in Covid, and the implementation of the health pass, tourism in Nice this summer has been exceptional or even higher than the summer of 2019, which was already a banner year.

This was totally unexpected at the beginning of the season, particularly for Nice hotels, which recorded higher occupancy rates in August than in 2019. While June was a little behind, the average occupancy rate jumped to 68% in July and even to 85% over the last ten days.

In August, occupancy was close to 91.1% with peaks of 98%. Of course, the French clientele was in the majority, but the international clientele made a comeback thanks to the resumption of flights at the airport.

While the Italians were present as always thanks to their geographical proximity (Nice is located 20 km from the border), the hotels also saw the presence of a European clientele from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries.

Only the Russians, the British and the Asians were almost absent due to travel restrictions. According to a survey by the Regional Tourism Committee of the South Region, 85% of professionals said they had a "good season" this summer.

The only downside is the restaurant business. According to Noël Ajoury, president of the Umih (Union of Hotel Trades and Industries) Nice Côte d'Azur, while the restaurant owners located in the tourist areas of the city center are satisfied, it is not the case for restaurants located further away, which have recorded up to a 40% drop in sales.

The outlook of tourism in Nice for the fall is nonetheless favorable, even though events such as the Iron Man, the book fair, and conferences have been pushed back to the end of the last quarter.  Still according to a survey by the Regional Tourism Committee of the Southern Region, more than one professional out of two is confident for the fall and winter.

The airport confirms that the traffic this summer in Nice was about 60% of that of 2019, the last year for normal traffic.

In July, the airport handled 930,000 passengers, of which just under 50% were international, and in August 1,035,000 passengers, of which over 50% were international.

The summer was also marked by the return of long-haul flights, notably to Dubai and New York. The fall recovery is confirmed with nearly 80 destinations served, including 60 abroad.

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