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Activity in Paris, the aftershock of the terrorist attacks is dwindling but leisure demand remains weak

More than a month after the dramatic events in Paris that kicked off 2015, their impact on tourism has lessened. At the peak of the impact, results dropped by -25%, but in the end their effect was contained. As demand returns, it is driven by renewed business activity, while leisure demand remains below normal, expressed by a shortage of business on weekends.

More than a month after the terrorist attacks committed by the Kouachi brothers and Ahmedy Coulibaly in Paris, that worried professionnels, the impact on tourism has generally softened, as activity data collected by the database at MKG Hospitality illustrates. The drop in activity lasted 2 weeks and a day, with the steepest drops on some days by -25% in the RevPAR, the industry's performance indicator. Since then, performance improved, driven in particular by renewed activity during Paris Fashion Week followed by the exhibition Maison & Objets:

Daily change of occupancy rate, average daily rate and RevPAR in Paris (January-February 2015)

In the end, the impact was felt for a few days, but was limited in duration and scope across the full month, as could be observed following the attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 (read our article). Georges Panayotis, CEO MKG Group, did a full account on the set of BFMTV:

Nonetheless, the trend in February does not mark a sharp rebound. The drop in the RevPAR remains sensitive although some events allow for renewed hope. In detail, it may thus be observed that in the first 40 days of the year the RevPAR was stable on weekdays (losing a cumulated 0.1% from Monday through Thursday) while it remains down on weekends (-2.6% on nights Friday to Sunday).

Thus, while the renewed business and exhibition activity were quick to help Paris reduce losses at the beginning of  the year, leisure clientele continue to drag their feet, suggesting some hesitation about returning to the French capital en masse. Until now, only Valentine's Day has helped reverse this trend, allowing Parisian hoteliers to post an increase in weekend activity for the first time this year.


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