Although some towns may offer surprisingly fine results, others, like Paris, may leave one to believe that the Bogeyman has stepped in for Saint Nick when it came time to deliver hospitality performances.
-0.5 point: the drop is weak, yet significant.
The occupancy rate across the country shrank by -0.5 point in December 2018 with respect to the previous year, marking the break between a year 2018 that was positive in terms of occupancy (+1.2 point) ending with a month of December that was affected by protests.
Logically it was the upscale, primarily in Paris, that suffered the most with a -1.3 point drop throughout the country. While it benefited from a strong return of Asian and American clientele, this clientele were more hesitant in their choice of destination at the end of the year after seeing the violent images that ere broadcast from the protests.
2018 could thus have ended on a more positive note for French hoteliers, but the picture isn't all black. Confirming a dynamic observed across the entire year, prices are continuing along their trajectory by climbing +3.5 % in December and midscale confirms its resilience with +4.8 % growth.
This segment produced the best results in terms of RevPAR (+5.2%), but this remains lower than its average of +7.9 % for 2018. All the segments are thus down this month with respect to their annual average, impacted by the drop in occupancy that forced hoteliers to slow price increases.
So the resolution hoteliers might make for 2019 could be to not sacrifice their ADR to occupancy… which is expected to be poor in France and especially in Paris.
A shortage of gifts around the Christmas tree in Paris and Bordeaux
Paris intra-muros closed a remarkable November with +14% increase in its RevPAR and a brilliant month of October with +20%. December drained the morale of hoteliers in the capital who saw their RevPAR shrink (-0.1%) due to a drop in occupancy (-3.6 points).
The greater Paris region is following the same trend with less marked results: its RevPAR is up slightly (+1.9%) due to a drop in OR (-1.6 point).
Bordeaux, which is enjoying a developing hotel industry thanks to - among other things - the arrival of the TGV, the valorisation of the destination by the guide Lonely Planet and also development programmes created by City Hall, closes the year on a positive note. While ORs weaken (-0.8 point) because of the growing number of hotels, prices continue to climb (+2.2 %) to reach 82.4€ excl. taxes, or levels that are almost the equivalent to those in Marseille and Lyon. December nonetheless was not a good month for the city that posted a drop in its RevPAR by -3.5 %, and was simultaneously subject to a drop in OR (-1.1 point) and ADR (-1.6%).
A respectable year end for others
Strasbourg is the capital of Christmas and light in the face of obscurantism. Despite the terrorist attack, the city's appeal and the appetite of tourists to visit it were not totally affected. Hoteliers' results demonstrate this with a RevPAR up by 7.3% that is slightly impacted by the drop in OR (-0.5 point).
Occupancy in Rouen is up (+4.9 points), as it is in Marseille (+4.2 points) and Cannes (+2.7 points). These two Mediterranean cities nonetheless see their growth accompanied by a drop in prices by -2.5 % and -3.1 %.
Finally, Rennes continues along its trajectory with a RevPAR up by +3.8 %, a fine performance… but nonetheless also below its annual average.
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