Daniel A. Tanner - Sep 15, 2023
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The tourism season in Normandy had a great start, with several long weekends, mild weather, and major events attracting many visitors. However, attendance in July was affected by the gloomy weather conditions. Nonetheless, on a positive note, August marks the end of the high summer season.

Major events drove the month of June

Tourism in Normandy has seen a significant boost, with 7.2 million overnight stays recorded between June 1 and 28, 2023. This is an 8.6% increase compared to last year. The major events hosted in the region during June, including the 79th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Battle of Normandy, and the 8th edition of the Rouen Armada, have largely contributed to positive tourist attendance. Foreign tourists have been particularly good, with overnight stays in Normandy increasing by 14.6% between June 2022 and June 2023. There has also been an increase of nearly 5% in domestic tourists, mainly from the Ile-de-France and neighboring regions. According to a survey, 60% of industry stakeholders are satisfied with June.

Gloomy July

In July 2023, the Normandy region recorded just over 12 million overnight stays, a 0.6% increase from the same period in 2022. However, the tourist season's progress has slowed slightly, according to most professionals. Although 46.6% believe July 2023 was good, more than 16% expressed disappointment. Despite this, there were no significant stay cancellations. Weather conditions slowed last-minute bookings. Tourism industry professionals whose business focuses on the coast or rural areas are less enthusiastic than usual and have mixed opinions. On the other hand, tourism professionals in urban areas are doing well, particularly those offering sheltered activities like covered sites and places of visit.

French travelers decreased compared to July 2022, while foreign travelers remained loyal (+2.5%), especially Germans, Dutch, and British.

A positive end to the season

Between 1 and 28 August 2023, tourism in Normandy recorded 12.8 million overnight stays, a 1.8% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Tourist attendance has been good in Normandy, thanks to a significant improvement in the weather and foreign customers. Almost 60% of professionals are satisfied with their attendance in August 2023, and 40.5% consider it to be the same as in August 2022. The satisfaction rate of tourism professionals surveyed is more than 65% in the Normandy coastal areas.

Foreign visitors in August increased by 3.5% in overnight stays compared to August 2022. Visitors from the South were more prevalent, seeking cooler temperatures.

According to the tourism professionals interviewed, visitors' purchasing power has decreased while attendance remains satisfactory. This has resulted in visitors spending less on leisure activities, shorter stays, last-minute reservations or cancellations, and a higher preference for free activities.

The end of the high season has approached, and industry professionals are now looking forward to the off-season. According to a recent survey, 50.4% of respondents are concerned and anticipate an "average" off-season. However, 32.4% remain optimistic and believe the off-season will be good based on their current booking rates.

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