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Analysis

2015: French hoteliers mark a balance within contrasting circumstances

The events that hit France in 2015 gave way to contrasting situations for hoteliers in the country. While the Parisian industry suffered from the impact of the attacks, activity in the provinces helped maintain the national average, allowing results on the sector to be balanced across the year. The upscale and luxury hotel segment is faring better thanks to the French Riviera and resorts, and some regions were able to reap benefits.



In 2015, French hotel industry results show a third year of stagnation due to a context that is not favorable to tourism. The occupancy rate at hotels settled at 65.4% across the year, down slightly by 0.3 points with respect to the previous year, when the average daily rate rose by 0.5%, to 85.6 euros. The change in the two indicators allowed the Revenue per available room (RevPAR) to settle at a level similar to the previous year: +0.1% compared to 2014, for 56 euros.

This stability in results may also be observed on the economy and midscale categories: -0.1% RevPAR for each. Despite strong variations during the year and significant differences between regions, the upscale and luxury hotel range overall ended the year with a RevPAR up slightly: +1.2%, thanks to a stable occupancy rate across the year and an average daily rate up by 1.2%. Growth in the upscale compensated for the drop in the budget segment (RevPAR -1% in 2015).



Just once, national results were supported this year by hotel activity in the provinces. In 2015, Paris and the Ile-de-France had to deal with the consequences of two periods of terrorist attacks. Thus, and for the first time in several years, the occupancy rate at Parisian hotels dropped below 80%, for a 3.4 point drop with respect to the previous year. Despite 0.4% improvement in the average daily rate, the drop in arrivals led to a 3.7% decrease in the capital's RevPAR. The drop in the indicator is less pronounced in the Ile-de-France outside Paris (-2.6%), where activity is more dependent on business travel, which suffers less from security issues.



Inversely, the hotel industry in the provinces ended the year with growth by 3.5% of the RevPAR, driven by 0.7 points improvement in the occupancy rate and 2.3% in the average daily rate. Summer was positive, thanks in particular to the favorable weather conditions and the shift of the calendar for Ramadan to July. Several major events also contributed to the good results in certain regions, such as the High Tide of the Century that drew many visitors to Brittany (+5.1% RevPAR in the region for 2015), and the organization of the biennial Vinexpo in Bordeaux (+4.9% RevPAR in the Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region). The arrival of the Saudi king on the Côte d'Azur in the summer also contributed to the 6.8% growth in the RevPAR in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. On the other hand, the 2.5% drop in the indicator in Normandy may be explained by less favorable conditions than in 2014, which was marked by the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Landing and the Equestrian Games. But growth slowed for the hotel industry in some regions due to the impact of the terrorist attacks at the end of the year: while the effects of the attacks in January 2015 limited to Paris and the Ile-de-France, the consequences of November 13 could be felt on the whole of the territory, leading to significant drops in hotel activity in November and December, and the effects of these attacks will continue in the beginning of 2016.

While results for 2015 suggest stability for the hotel industry France, "The stability of French hotel results needs to be put into perspective in comparison to results of other European markets for the year 2015. France shows growth by 0.1% in its RevPAR whereas the continent shows global growth by 4/7%," outlines Georges Panayotis, president and ceo MKG Group.



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