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France: drop in reservations confirmed at this year-end 2015

Insecurity, competition with new kinds of accommodations and economic moroseness are a source of concern for hoteliers at the end of this year. They are, in fact, observing a drop in reservations for the period of Noel and New Year's Day with respect to last year as results from a survey by Hospitality ON with Olakala show.

The end of the year is looking complicated for French hoteliers. While the holiday period is usually beneficial for the sector's business, professionals are facing cancellations and delays in reservations, as suggested in a survey by Hospitality ON, with Olakala.

Have you seen an increase in bookings compared to last year?

On a national scale, 67% of respondents mentioned a drop in reservations during the final weeks of the 2015, with respect to last year, including 36% particularly significantly. The trend is more evident in the Paris region where the impact of the November 13 attacks on travelers' intentions could be felt more. In the Ile-de-France, those hoteliers interviewed saw a drop in business by up to 90% (50% have a strong customer portfolio), versus 57% of professionals in the provinces. Aside from Paris, 20% of respondents nonetheless estimate that their reservations are up on period.

With respect to last year, for the year 2015 overall, do you believe your business has:

Combined with an economic situation that remains morose and a competitive market, the impact of the attacks on performances at properties should be felt throughout the year. This is at least what half of the professionals interviewed by Hospitality ON in France have reported. The phenomenon also appears to be stronger in the Paris region where it concerns 74% of those surveyed, versus 38% of those located in the provinces. Outside Paris, opinions of professionals are balanced: 30% expect to see their level of activity remain stable, while 32% hope to see growth. the outlook thus suggests a readjustment that is already underway.

Among the main difficulties mentioned by hoteliers interviewed, the impact of the attacks on foreign and leisure clientèle is at the top of the list. Most also include competition from new kinds of accommodations, and sharing collaborations such as Airbnb in particular, as well as a drop in buying power especially among local clientèle. Hoteliers at ski resorts also speak of the lack of snow at ski areas.

And yet, considering, the sharp increase in activity recorded in 2015 elsewhere in Europe (read our article) and the exceptional character of the events that penalized France this year, the outlook for 2016 are fortunately less dismal.

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