The National Federation of Institutional Organizations of Tourism, AND Tourisme, conducted a survey among its members and used data from other sources as well (data from Flux Vision Tourism and partnership survey of five Regional Committees of Tourism) to draw up the first assessment of the trends of the summer tourist season in France.
The findings show that the tourist traffic in the middle of the summer season have been encouraging despite the catastrophic spring and the month of June considered disappointing.
"As early as July, the tourist numbers reassured the professionals who had little expectations from the season. The majority of the territories surveyed announced that tourist numbers were down or stable in July compared to 2019 and slightly better in August. In general, the traffic during the core season is higher than expected, given the context," explains ADN Tourisme in its report.
53% of French people traveled in July and August, compared to 71% in 2019, based on a survey of 1,000 people. 94% of those who traveled stayed in France, thus compensating for the lower rate of foreign tourism. The industry seems to be saved by domestic visitors. Some regions even did well, with an increase of more than 10% in attendance between July 1 and mid-August. Many accommodation facilities are fully booked for September – thanks to French guests.
The main reason for the locals to opt for a staycation is the ever-changing rules regarding the entry of European countries as well as the worsened health situation in many of the popular destinations.
These figures are encouraging, thanks in particular to the return of tourists from several local European markets, such as Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland.
Nevertheless, there are still concerns for the coming months. How will the off-season and the end of the year 2020 unfold? "The majority of respondents expect less than 2019 attendance in the off-season. Even if some territories see positive signs for September, the keyword is uncertainty due to the lack of bookings," notes ADN Tourisme.
This is particularly true for the group and business tourism. For the latter, the ban on events for more than 5,000 people extended until October 30 still makes it uncertain whether trade fairs and conventions will be held by the end of the year. All the tourism professionals questioned thus expressed doubts and remain very attentive to the development of the health situation.