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Analysis

Pays de la Loire: Chateaux flexing the machinery

Through Nantes, the Pays de la Loire benefit from a fast train line connecting them to the capital in less than 2 hours and the abandoning of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes project should allow the development of airport activities in the regional capital. Nantes Atlantique airport welcomed 5.5 million passengers in 2017, 15% more than in 2016.

A major centre for professional events, the Cité des Congrès de Nantes has hosted an average of 260 economic events per year since its inauguration in 1992, making a major contribution to business tourism demand. 48% of Nantes' airport arrivals, mainly attracted by congresses, come from Europe and are up 21%.

The main attraction for leisure tourism in the region is the Puy du Fou, which attracted 2,200,000 visitors in 2016, ranking second among the most attractive amusement parks in France in terms of visitor numbers. The park, located in the Vendée, produces 277,000,000€ of economic windfall every year, which makes it one of the main actors of the regional economy.

The Châteaux de la Loire are among the great classics of any trip to France, located from Blois to Tours, they teach the History of France through a route specially organized for the curious. "The Loire à Vélo", one of the longest French bicycle routes, makes it possible to get to the main castles ecologically while enjoying the landscapes along the river. The most visited château in the region, Chambord, welcomed more than 1 million visitors in 2017. President Emmanuel Macron even organized his birthday there, the accommodations available at the Castle have since displayed a record number of reservations

In Nantes, the exhibition "Machines de l'Ile" attracts the most tourists each year. This mechanical museum, showcasing numerous articulated creatures made of metal and wood, participates in the majority of the street shows. "Le Voyage à Nantes", a 12m high elephant structure carrying 50 passengers, was recently equipped with a more ecological and less noisy engine. It wanders all year round and has become a symbol of the city.

With 4,719 chain rooms, Nantes represents nearly 40% of the supply in the Pays de la Loire and recorded a 3.7% drop in its supply over the year, notably due to the closure of F1 hotels. Like Bordeaux, Nantes increased its OR (+2.4 points) without lowering its ADR (+0.3%). At 66.7%, the OR in Nantes reached a new 10 year high, leading the RevPAR to grow by 4%.

The future development of the airport, as well as the promotion of the provinces by French tourist institutions, should soon encourage hotel owners to develop their properties.

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