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Rouen: the impressive Armada

Rouen’s tourism is a winner with the Armada 2008. Created in 1989, this major gathering of tall ships is held in the city every four or five years. The last edition in 2003 brought 9 million visitors, with 3,258 rooms reserved in hotels in Rouen and its region. While the definitive number of visitors is not yet known, professionals agree that the 2008 edition was a real success. “Occupancy was better than at the last edition,” remarks Yannick Bugeon, partnership manager at Rouen’s tourist office. Figures from MKG Hospitality confirm this opinion. Room revenue leapt up by 40.8% last July with growth in the OR by 8.7% combined with an average daily rate that is up by nearly 25%.Everything was done to make Armada 2008 a success. Armada trains brought visitors from Lille and Paris. Nighttime entertainment was plentiful. Les animations nocturnes ont. Fireworks at 11pm followed by the illumination of the cathedral encouraged visitors to spend the night. The length of visitors’ stays was most often 2 days, to the great pleasure of all the local tourism actors. “A great deal of entertainment was organized in the center of town so that restaurants could take advantage of the windfall of the events,” congratulates Yannick Dugeon. But Rouen’s good health is not limited to these two weeks. Thanks to the Armada, the city’s renown has spread. In twelve months, the RevPAR grew by 8.6%. The city of Claude Monet and Impressionism, the gateway to Normandy, the economic turntable of Paris, Brussels and London, Rouen established itself as a favorite destination of foreign tourists.The first explanation of these excellent results: a change of date. Whereas in 2003 the armada began on June 29, the 2008 edition began on July 5. Thanks to this shift, the city was able to benefit from the first July vacationers while attracting a strong affluence on its final weekend, the long weekend of July 14. Another element: this gathering of old riggings that attracted thirty of the biggest sailing ships in the world to the quays of the Seine is gaining renown. The 2003 edition succeeded in generating media attention in more than 50 countries. Tourism authorities created a lot of publicity about the event, and British and Belgian neighbors were present in numbers.Everything was done to make Armada 2008 a success. Armada trains brought visitors from Lille and Paris. Nighttime entertainment was plentiful. Les animations nocturnes ont. Fireworks at 11pm followed by the illumination of the cathedral encouraged visitors to spend the night. The length of visitors’ stays was most often 2 days, to the great pleasure of all the local tourism actors. “A great deal of entertainment was organized in the center of town so that restaurants could take advantage of the windfall of the events,” congratulates Yannick Dugeon. But Rouen’s good health is not limited to these two weeks. Thanks to the Armada, the city’s renown has spread. In twelve months, the RevPAR grew by 8.6%. The city of Claude Monet and Impressionism, the gateway to Normandy, the economic turntable of Paris, Brussels and London, Rouen established itself as a favorite destination of foreign tourists.

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