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The Atlantic Coast shines under August rain

Despite bad weather in August, results for the summer season were more than satisfactory on the Atlantic coast. Summer 2005 was mixed. 2006 is excellent.

Even professionals admit that August 2006 may be considered as the coldest in 20 years. And yet, along the entire coast, domestic clientele and above all European tourists were present. The French went abroad less this summer (decreased buying power, increase in airline tickets, terrorist threats, conflict between Lebanon and Israel...) to the benefit of national hotels despite the increase in non-commercial accommodations that could be observed this season. In addition to the French, the British represent the primary contribution followed by the Dutch and the Germans who after the major slump in recent years are beginning to make a strong comeback. “It is above all foreigners that boosted occupancy,” confirms Marjorie Belliard, manager at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux Centre City Brand. “We had many English and Spanish guests. The return of Americans was confirmed and there was a significant number of visitors from Eastern Europe, who are beginning to arrive at a significant rate. I think that Bordeaux benefited in this regard from its Unesco World Heritage classification and its new, more dynamic image. All this was felt in foreign supply countries”.This excellent summer season does not constitute any trend reversal as it continues along a resolutely upward trend. In 12 months the RevPAR only dropped once (in March by 1.5%) and the increase is systematically greater than 6% since April. On the last 12 business months, growth in the RevPAR is thus close to 7% along the Atlantic to produce results that are decidedly above the national average (+4.6%).Positive pre-season forecasts proved to be right, even if the very bad weather after 15 August handicapped the second part of the month, particularly for the northern half of the coast. “It is true that the weather was very mediocre in August, but people didn’t cancel their reservations, particularly since July was very sunny and offered no harbinger of the bad weather to come... In the end this did not prevent our occupancy rate and average daily rates from progressing with respect to 2005,” comments Marjorie Belliard. While the damp weather was not enough to make occupancy drop, it does explain the clear difference that may be observed in progress between the “Northern Atlantic” and the “Southern Atlantic”: respectively +10.3% and +4.2% increase in the RevPAR in August. With a +6.8% increase in the RevPAR along the Atlantic Coast, August was even better than July (+5.9%). For the same month throughout the country only the French Riviera and the Ile de France regions produced better results than the region of the Pays de Loire. Excellent occupancy rates, in fact, remained steady at 91.7% in August and 81.9% in July all along the Atlantic shoreline.This excellent summer season does not constitute any trend reversal as it continues along a resolutely upward trend. In 12 months the RevPAR only dropped once (in March by 1.5%) and the increase is systematically greater than 6% since April. On the last 12 business months, growth in the RevPAR is thus close to 7% along the Atlantic to produce results that are decidedly above the national average (+4.6%).

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