The National Observatory of Mountain Resort Mayors (ANMSM) - Atout France takes stock of bookings for the Christmas and January holidays. The season looks good, but with differences according to different regions. There are also many questions about consumption in the face of inflation among French tour operators.
According to the ANMSM, which has just introduced its visitor forecasts for the 2022-2023 winter season, the period looks good. The data analyzed concerns the Northern and Southern Alps as well as the Pyrenees, i.e. 80 resorts and 400,000 beds, plus a survey of 35 ANMSM members.
Christmas on Skis
The forecast of occupancy rate for the 2022-2023 Christmas holidays for tourist beds is 62%, a slight decrease compared to last season. From 31 December to 6 January, the forecast occupancy rate is 63%.
However, the trends vary according to the week, the type of accommodation and the type of resort. Depending on the mountain ranges, trends diverge: bookings for the Christmas holidays are down slightly, with 65% in the Northern Alps and 45% in the Southern Alps. On the other hand, in the Pyrenees, forecast occupancy rates are up compared to the 2021-2022 season (49%).
For the Jura mountains, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Tourism observatory indicates slightly lower occupancy rates than in 2021, i.e. 41% for the week of Christmas and more than 60% for the week of New Year.
January Holidays Are Very Popular
From 31 December to 6 January, French tour operators expect an increase in the forecast occupancy rate for all market accommodations: 71% for village clubs, 60% for furnished accommodation marketed by agencies, 50% for collaborative accommodation, 61% for hotels and 76% for tourist residences.
The forecast occupancy rate for all the market beds is 52%. For the mountain ecosystem, everything will depend on tourist consumption.
Diversification of Offers
Last year, the French mountain resorts were deprived of their foreign holidaymakers on Christmas, due to the health situation. This year, if the forecast attendance of international customers is not as high as expected, they are still back.
"The involvement of all those involved in the mountains to meet the needs of the clientele and to offer a wide range of activities and entertainment is bearing fruit for this winter season and allows us to be optimistic about the presence of holidaymakers," says Jean-Luc Boch, President of the ANMSM. Skiing remains the predominant activity and enrolment in ski schools is even up by 37% compared to last year, according to data from the National Union of French Ski Instructors.
However, the range of activities on offer is diversifying: snowshoeing, sledging, orienteering, snow biking... Or even survival training! According to data from Nordic France, pre-sales of Nordic passes have increased by 20% compared to 2021.