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French 4* regain the growth track!

After a good first quarter, French 4* hotels are heading towards the end of a second quarter that has tended towards the exceptional. All’s a go. After an excellent month of April (+10.6% for the RevPAR), May is even better!

May was excellent for French up market hotels, with a RevPar that leapt by 13.5% over 2005. Aside from exceptional evolutions due to trade fairs, these are no less than the best results in a month for this category since… October 2002 – which logically experienced a strong rebound over 2001. The recovery would appear to finally be here! Confirming the positive trend of the previous 12 months with a bang (+7.5% growth for the RevPAR with a constant perimeter). While all indexes show positive progress, the occupancy rate is the motor behind the growth over one year (+4.2 pts on 12 months) with an average daily rate that is also up, if less remarkably so, by 0.8%.Still on 12 months, the different 4* hotel categories — be they in town centres or on the outskirts, near airports or on the French shoreline-— all show a significant rebound in their occupancy rate (around +3 to +5 points). In terms of size, hotels with 250 rooms or more benefited the most during this strong period for French upscale hotels, another phenomenon that is part of the trend over the last 12 months. Finally, it must be observed that the palaces are the kings of the upscale in terms of both standing and RevPar: +15% over the same period last year. “Since the beginning of the year, we have been quite satisfied with the activity. It was strong in business clientele to the detriment of leisure clientele. Since April, we have observed a reversal,” confirms Olivier Voarick, Director of the Château de l'Ile Grandes Etapes in Strasbourg. “The real success of our spa enabled us to develop the loyalty of our leisure clientele”. In May, the uptrend could be observed on most of the territory. But the capital is its epicentre: its 4* inventory grew by 17.1% in terms of RevPar, versus 7.9% in the provinces. “The improvement of results at the Crillon is real compared with five years ago,” observes Marie-Béatrice Lallemand, General manager of the Concorde brand and director ad interim of the palace on the homonymous Place. “The positive trend has grown stronger since 2005. This is true for Paris’ entire prestige hotel business and is due in great part to the international context that encourages travel once again.” The return of American and Japanese clientele is of course not foreign to the renewed good health of the upmarket. Another stimulating factor for the TO: the multiplication of special offers created for families (and other multi-generation groups) in order to meet the growing demand. It is also necessary to take into consideration the end of the price war that saw some properties slash the prices of their rooms sometimes to such an extent that they overshadowed even the 3* segment. In May, the average daily rate rose in Paris by 10.4%. The absence of long weekends this year allowed hoteliers to limit the traditional weekend promotions that bring average daily rates down. Moreover, in Paris, hotels benefited from an exceptional event with the Cardiology Congress and the finals of the Football Champion’s league. On May 17, the category on the whole even posted record occupancy with an average OR close to 100%…. in Paris. This very localised result, is certainly exceptional, but perfectly in keeping with the epoch…. At last a return to recovery.Still on 12 months, the different 4* hotel categories — be they in town centres or on the outskirts, near airports or on the French shoreline-— all show a significant rebound in their occupancy rate (around +3 to +5 points). In terms of size, hotels with 250 rooms or more benefited the most during this strong period for French upscale hotels, another phenomenon that is part of the trend over the last 12 months. Finally, it must be observed that the palaces are the kings of the upscale in terms of both standing and RevPar: +15% over the same period last year. “Since the beginning of the year, we have been quite satisfied with the activity. It was strong in business clientele to the detriment of leisure clientele. Since April, we have observed a reversal,” confirms Olivier Voarick, Director of the Château de l'Ile Grandes Etapes in Strasbourg. “The real success of our spa enabled us to develop the loyalty of our leisure clientele”. In May, the uptrend could be observed on most of the territory. But the capital is its epicentre: its 4* inventory grew by 17.1% in terms of RevPar, versus 7.9% in the provinces. “The improvement of results at the Crillon is real compared with five years ago,” observes Marie-Béatrice Lallemand, General manager of the Concorde brand and director ad interim of the palace on the homonymous Place. “The positive trend has grown stronger since 2005. This is true for Paris’ entire prestige hotel business and is due in great part to the international context that encourages travel once again.” The return of American and Japanese clientele is of course not foreign to the renewed good health of the upmarket. Another stimulating factor for the TO: the multiplication of special offers created for families (and other multi-generation groups) in order to meet the growing demand. It is also necessary to take into consideration the end of the price war that saw some properties slash the prices of their rooms sometimes to such an extent that they overshadowed even the 3* segment. In May, the average daily rate rose in Paris by 10.4%. The absence of long weekends this year allowed hoteliers to limit the traditional weekend promotions that bring average daily rates down. Moreover, in Paris, hotels benefited from an exceptional event with the Cardiology Congress and the finals of the Football Champion’s league. On May 17, the category on the whole even posted record occupancy with an average OR close to 100%…. in Paris. This very localised result, is certainly exceptional, but perfectly in keeping with the epoch…. At last a return to recovery.

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