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May bore fruit for the French hotel industry

In keeping with the first quarter, the month of May attests to France's good health, with the upmarket segment overall and the Ile de France Region in particular as the big winners.

With a 7.0% increase in overall RevPAR, late spring was more encouraging for France. Increases in average daily rates across all segments (with a special mention for the hard budget and upscale segments) largely explain this rise. All categories combined, average daily rates recorded a 7.1% increase. With regard to occupancy rates the picture was more mixed: the overall occupancy rate was stable in comparison with last year (-0.1 point at 70.7%) and the 0* to 3* categories posted declines that continued to give little cause for concern, being very moderate (between 0.2 points for the 3* and -1.4 for the 0*). In contrast, the 4* segment continued to steal the show and recorded a sharp increase in occupancy rates of close to five points.Although they did not reach the same levels, the provinces have been evolving in the right direction across all segments to reach +4.1% of overall RevPAR. Although occupancy declined slightly (-0.6 point) in the provinces, growth in average daily rates (+5.1%) prompted an increase in RevPAR. Here too the trend in the upscale sector was better than in the other segments: growth in RevPAR stretches from 1.2% in the 2* category to 7.9% in the 4* category. However, performances were not the same throughout the country: regions such as Lorraine and the Franche-Comté weighed heavily in the balance with results in sharp decline as compared to 2005, whereas Alsace and the Pays de la Loire fared well. The latter benefited from bank holiday weekends in May, which favour the short breaks in which these regions specialise. With a 4.3 % increase in RevPAR over a twelve-month rolling period, the French hotel industry is on the right track. France is faring well as a destination and generating revenue.The results can be explained by the dynamism of international clienteles. Indeed, although the domestic clientele remains in the shadows, European clienteles have made their presence felt. Paris continues to welcome returning long-haul clienteles. Tourists from Japan and China, which have been increasing since the beginning of the year, and the United States have been particularly numerous in the French capital. As a result, the 4* segment posted better results here. Occupancy rates in this category increased by 4.3 points to reach a monthly average in the region of 75% for a RevPAR that has risen by over 17%. Elsewhere in the Ile de France, the dynamic was also excellent for the 4* segment: occupancy rates rose by 7.5 points in the context of 4.1% growth in average daily rates for an increase in RevPAR that is similar to results in Paris (+16.2%).Although they did not reach the same levels, the provinces have been evolving in the right direction across all segments to reach +4.1% of overall RevPAR. Although occupancy declined slightly (-0.6 point) in the provinces, growth in average daily rates (+5.1%) prompted an increase in RevPAR. Here too the trend in the upscale sector was better than in the other segments: growth in RevPAR stretches from 1.2% in the 2* category to 7.9% in the 4* category. However, performances were not the same throughout the country: regions such as Lorraine and the Franche-Comté weighed heavily in the balance with results in sharp decline as compared to 2005, whereas Alsace and the Pays de la Loire fared well. The latter benefited from bank holiday weekends in May, which favour the short breaks in which these regions specialise. With a 4.3 % increase in RevPAR over a twelve-month rolling period, the French hotel industry is on the right track. France is faring well as a destination and generating revenue.

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