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September 2019: the new school year is particularly successful for regional hoteliers in France

The French hospitality industry is slowing down a little more for this month of the new school year. Paris and the Île-de-France region plunged even more during the summer holidays and drove performance down. The Province maintains as far as possible its results for a neutral national evolution.

Results very close to those of August are revealed in September, with one difference: the figures have fallen further. Indeed, a cloudy picture emerges of the French hotel sector this month. Only +0.3 additional occupancy percentage points, for an occupancy rate that rises to 77.7%; an average daily rate that compensates for this lack of customers in hotels by increasing by +2.7% (ADR of €108.10 excluding VAT) to lead to an artificially higher RevPAR of +3.1%, which thus stands at €84.00 excl-VAT. Thus all rates are rising everywhere in France, with the exception of the upscale segment in Paris and the midscale segment in Île-de-France (excluding Paris).

The economic heart of France is falling into negative territory this month. The capital loses -0.4 occupancy points (for an OR of 88.6%) and its region -1.7 pt (OR 81.5%). The number of customers for both handsets fell to 84.6%, down -1.2 pt. In Paris, it is the economy hotels that are mainly losing market shares, with a drop in OR of -2.7 pts. In fact, it was also the segment that showed the best performance during the same period last year, in September 2018. In other words, it is only in line with market results, going from 91.2% to 88.5% in September 2019, a result that is to within 0.1 pt at the same level as the Parisian average (88.6%). It is interesting to note that this is also the segment that increases its average daily rate the most (+5.4%, or €117.70 excl-VAT), so that its RevPAR has the best growth in Paris: +2.2%, or €104.20 excl-VAT. On the other hand, the midscale increased its RevPAR by only +0.7% (€152.90 excl-VAT) and the upscale even reduced its rates by -0.2% (€311.30 excl-VAT), so that RevPAR fell by -0.7% (€274.90 excl-VAT).

In the rest of the Île-de-France region (excluding Paris), it is the midscale that is losing market share first, with an Occupancy Rate down by -2.9 pts. Unlike the economy in Paris, the midscale in the Île-de-France region is below the regional average compared to other segments: an OR of 78.9%, compared to 81.5% for all types of hotels in the region. As mentioned earlier, the so-called segment does not even increase its average daily rate, which falls to €115.50 excl-VAT (-0.3%) leading to a RevPAR in the red (-3.9%, or €91.20 excl-VAT). The budget and economy segments, failing to maintain their customer level, manage to keep their RevPAR up thanks to an increase in rates, particularly for the budget: +5.6% (€58.00 excl-VAT), for a RevPAR up +4.0% (€47.50 excl-VAT). The upscale shows yet another example in the IDF region. It is the only segment that manages to increase its customer base, with +0.5 pt of occupancy to reach an OR of 86.0%, which thus continues to far exceed the regional average (81.5%).

Finally, in the other regions of France, the sky is much clearer. The OR is up 1 point to 74.3%, gradually catching up with the Ile-de-France region (84.6%). The average daily rate has increased significantly (+4.9%), with an average of €87.30 excluding VAT. As for RevPAR, it increases at a rate of +6.3% to reach €64.80 excl-VAT. All segments are growing, and the higher the service, the better the performance. Thus, the upscale gained +2.2 occupation points, posting both the best growth and the best OR of all: 79.7%, compared with 76.0% for the midscale (+1.8 pt), 74.4% for the eco (+0.4 pt) and 71.0% for the budget (+0.6 pt). As far as ADR is concerned, the dynamic is almost the same. First comes the top of the basket which increases by +9.3% to reach an average of €215.70 excl-VAT, then the middle one at +2.9% for €101.40 excl-VAT, the eco at +2.4% for €69.50 excl-VAT and the budget at +3.2% for €46.50 excl-VAT. The same growth patterns for RevPAR, with the record of the entire national panel beaten by the upscale at +12.4% to reach €171.90 excluding VAT.

The metropolitan regions of France were largely supported by several cities that drove results very largely upwards, such as Cannes (OR +8.7 pts), Nice (+4.9 pts), Nantes (+4.2 pts), Marseille (+2.9 pts) and Bordeaux (+2.8 pts). Cannes' spectacular progress can be explained both by the end of the summer season, which ends in September thanks to mild weather conditions, and by the organization of two events taking place in the last two weeks of the month: the Cannes Yachting Festival and the Régates Royales Cannes.

First, the Cannes Yachting Festival took place this year from 12 to 17 September 2019. It attracted 54,000 visitors and 611 exhibitors. The Régates Royales Cannes, consisting of a series of races organized by the Cannes Yacht Club from 21 to 29 September and featuring 150 yachts, welcomed a spectator audience of 45,000 people. Thus, of the 12,791 hotel rooms of integrated chains in Nice, 76.68% were occupied during the period from 12 to 30 September, an increase of +8.12 points. The best growth of the month in the Cannes-Antibes metropolitan area during the Régates Royales Cannes, Monday 23 September, when the OR grew by +21.73 pts and the ADR by +20.35%, so that the RevPAR was boosted by +63.98% to reach €157.90 excl-VAT. The weekends away from events were also a real success, when holidaymakers came to enjoy the last rays of sunshine of the season, and this at lower costs since the average daily rate goes from €352.50 excl-VAT in August to €245.40 excl-VAT in September this year.

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