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Paris, city of exhibitions, fills its rooms in October

The City of Light shined even brighter than usual thanks to this year’s edition of the Paris Motor Show that had a particularly high attendance. Spectacular results in the first half of the month crowned Paris’s excellent results in terms of exhibitions and conventions for the past three years.

The Paris Motor Show brought the capital to its peak in the first two weeks of October. In this period, the RevPAR for Paris’s hotels rose 13.8% over last year. This burst of growth began during the press days prior to the event with an occupancy rate at 98.9% and a RevPar up by 25% compared with the same period in 2005. Hotels in the first belt around Paris were expecting this saturation and skillfully took advantage of it by raising their rates, driving the RevPar up by +24% on Wednesday, September 27 and + 33% the next day. In all, these two days saw the key performance indicator for the profession reach a record 150 euros.The Paris Tourist Office estimates that an event held in Paris receives “10 to 30% more participants than if it were held in another city”. This is the result of a variety of factors: the city’s cachet and patrimony that is highly appreciated in other countries, its highly developed and constantly expanding transportation network (the tramway opens this month), the concentrations of major exhibition and congress centers that make it possible to tailor offers to needs and, last but not least, the structure of the hotel supply that is the richest in the world with 150,000 rooms in the Ile-de-France and a wide variety of business packages that include accommodations, meeting rooms and top of the line incentive activities. In theory, Paris has not stopped shining in the hearts of organizers the world around.The first weekend of October, with an OR in the capital surpassing 90%, in no way lessened the euphoria. In fact, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barrière at the Longchamp racecourse helped hotels report a surplus of significant activity for a weekend that was already full. A new record was set on October 4 with an OR in Paris of 99.6%! meaning there was hardly a single room free in the entire Ile-de-France.Overall, occupancy was higher than 90% in the first fifteen days of October. Average daily rates rose by more than 9%.The triumph of the Motor Show 2006 is a particularly spectacular manifestation of a basic trend in which Paris’s exhibition and salon segment glows with health. “Paris ranks first in terms of occupancy, capacity of infrastructures and attractiveness,” rejoices Paul Roll, director of the Tourist Office. “Since 2003, which was a bad period in this regard, results improved significantly from one year to the next.” As a result, the International Congress & Convention Association now ranks Paris at the top of congress capitals with 78,612 participants, ahead of Vienna, Copenhagen and Hong Kong. It is also the first capital in terms of fairs and shows with regard to total capacity and number of exhibitors. The surface area of its ten largest congress and exhibition centers is around 630,000 square meters, which is far more than its German and Italian rivals.The Paris Tourist Office estimates that an event held in Paris receives “10 to 30% more participants than if it were held in another city”. This is the result of a variety of factors: the city’s cachet and patrimony that is highly appreciated in other countries, its highly developed and constantly expanding transportation network (the tramway opens this month), the concentrations of major exhibition and congress centers that make it possible to tailor offers to needs and, last but not least, the structure of the hotel supply that is the richest in the world with 150,000 rooms in the Ile-de-France and a wide variety of business packages that include accommodations, meeting rooms and top of the line incentive activities. In theory, Paris has not stopped shining in the hearts of organizers the world around.

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