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La Défense in full bloom

The business clientele barometer-neighbourhood in the Capital and Ile de France region attests to good spirits. With growth in the RevPAR by 10,5% in September, the trend is more than positive since it is also marked by a twelfth consecutive month of a rising

All indicators rose over last year,” rejoices Olivier Obi of Best Western Georges Sand Hotel Courbevoie Paris. And it is true, fall began under the best auspices for the La Défense neighbourhood with a revenue per available room up by 10.5% over 2005. It must be said that a significant volume of exhibitions and conferences boosted hotel activity in September. And hoteliers successfully anticipated this phenomenon and used it to their best advantage by raising the average daily rate by 7.6%. “The international textile fair in particular brought a great deal of clientele,” outlines Leopold Bindjene, head of reception at the Hotel Kyriad La Défense. “Otherwise, we hosted mostly domestic business clientele”. “At Porte Maillot two major medical events entered the picture as well: the Neuropharmacology conference and the one for SFAR (société française d'anesthésie et de réanimation),” recalls Véronique Lesneven, accommodations manager for Mercure La Défense Esplanade. “Our clientele were mostly European. Ours is a 3* and Americans and Asians tend toward upscale properties. But the good results are perfectly in keeping with the last six months for the neighbourhood”. But even in line with the 6 months before that, one might be tempted to add. The RevPAR is up by 8.1% on the last 12 months of business; no monthly drop has been observed in 1 year. From November to last February, hoteliers even posted record growth in their RevPAR: +16.6% in November, +10.8% in December, +14.6% in January, +10.9% in February. Since then, with exception to the month of September, the differentials have been more moderate, but the trend continues to be a combined increase of the occupancy rate and average daily rate. On the last 12 months the occupancy rate leapt by 2.4 points and the average daily rate grew by more than 4.4%. And yet in the last few months many new properties opened up following the example of Fraser Suites Harmonie residence or more recently Courtyard by Marriott Colombes. The Accor group also upgraded the position of its inventory with a full renovation that was particularly successful of the Sofitel La Défense Centre and the one that is ongoing of the Mercure Paris La Défense V, the high-capacity 515-room hotel in the area. A strong demand, a supply that is being restructured are the ingredients that are necessary to keep La Défense on this particularly favourable track.

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