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Christmas Break 2022: hotel operators benefit from the magic of the holiday season

The Christmas holidays have officially ended this week, with pupils going back to school and older children going back to work. Two weeks of holidays have allowed families to get together but also the French to travel during this very special period where the magic of Christmas is everywhere. A Christmas magic that has also benefited the hospitality sector, given the performances that have nothing to envy to those of 2019. MKG Consulting's data puts the spotlight on a particularly dynamic Christmas period.

A France in a festive mood

It would seem that the magic of Christmas was indeed present at the end of 2022, more precisely over the period from 17 December 2022 to 1 January 2023, where the occupancy rate for all regions combined stood at 53.5%. Although this figure is still 0.9% lower than in 2019, it is nevertheless 7.4% higher than in 2021.

With the exception of Normandy, all regions recorded an occupancy rate of over 40% during the period, and among these two regions stand out by exceeding 60%, namely Ile-de-France and Grand Est. These remarkable performances can be explained for the former by a strong return of international clients and for the latter by an increased popularity during this period due to its numerous Christmas markets.

Only Brittany performed less well than in 2021 with an occupancy rate down 2.4 points to 44%. However, it outperformed the Centre-Val-de-Loire (43.1%), Normandy (37.2%) and the Southern Region (43.3%).

The Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Centre-Val-de-Loire, Hauts-de-France and Occitanie are the only regions to have a higher occupancy rate in 2019. For the whole of France, the difference between 2022 and 2019 is only 0.6%, thus demonstrating the effective recovery of tourism, particularly during this period of the year, which is favourable to travel.

As for the average price and RevPAR, these two indicators are up sharply compared to 2021 but also to 2019. Indeed, the national average price was 121.3 euros, an increase of 18.3% compared to 2021 and 22.8% compared to 2019. 64.9, which corresponds to a growth of 37.2% compared to 2021 and 21.5% compared to 2019. These excellent performances confirm the recovery of French hotel operators after two difficult years.

Only three regions recorded average prices above 100 euros, namely Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (154.4), Ile-de-France (153.3) and Normandy (104). However, Normandy is also the only region to experience a decline in its RevPAR, with - 2.9% compared to 2021 and - 4.1% compared to 2019, as well as in its average price (- 5.5% and - 0.1%). In contrast, the Grand Est and Ile-de-France have the highest increase in RevPAR compared to 2019 with +33.5% and 32.7% respectively.

Christmas miracle for urban destinations

While on the whole the French regions performed well during the Christmas holidays, the figures are even higher when we focus on the performance of the major cities. Indeed, while Ile-de-France excluding Paris recorded an occupancy rate of 57.7%, the capital recorded an occupancy rate of 68.7%, marking an increase of 16.9% compared to 2021 and a decline of only 1.8 points compared to 2019.

Alongside Paris, only Toulouse and Lyon have occupancy rates above 60%, although no city has an occupancy rate below 40%. And only Bordeaux has rates that are still lower than the two reference years, - 2.4% compared to 2021 and - 2.1% compared to 2019. On the other hand, Lille, Lyon and Marseille performed better than in 2019 with increases of 2.5%, 3.9% and 0.7% respectively.

Unsurprisingly, Paris has the highest average price in the country at €225.3, an increase of 34.1% compared to 2021 and 40.9% compared to 2019. It is followed by Toulouse with an average price of €153.3, marking an increase of 30.2% compared to 2021 and 35% compared to 2019. The rest of the metropolises, as well as Ile-de-France, do not exceed an average price of 100 euros, but they all show an increase in performance compared to 2021 and 2019.

Paris and Toulouse are once again in the lead in terms of RevPAR, with 154.8 euros and 95.7 euros respectively. An indicator that is 77.8% higher than in 2021 and 37.3% higher than in 2019 for the City of Light, while the Pink City sees its RevPAR increase by 68.3% compared to 2021 and 32.7% compared to 2019. Lyon closes the podium with a RevPAR of €61.7, marking an increase of over 30% compared to the two reference years.

Although Bordeaux has not seen a decline in its average prices and RevPAR compared to 2021 and 2019, it has nevertheless recorded the smallest increase, with rises of no more than 10%. Marseille and Lille are also experiencing slower growth than the other cities, which are all showing increases of between 20% and 78%.

A notable difference between the three large southern cities can be explained by the fact that Toulouse receives many tourists who decide to stop in the Pink City before heading to the ski resorts of the Pyrenees. Also, business tourism is of great benefit to the city's hotel operators after an equally successful month of November.


Despite some disparities, the territory as a whole performed well during these holidays with performances well above 2021 and equalling 2019. This upward trend demonstrates the continuing voracious appetite of tourists for France as a destination. Looking ahead, the February holidays look just as promising with a 20% increase in bookings in the Southern Alps and a 100% increase in the areas around the Mediterranean compared to 2022. Indeed, the mountains remain king during this period. However, the coast is gaining ground with booking rates up from 20% to 50%. The drop in purchasing power and the energy price crisis thus seem to have little impact on this winter holiday-loving clientele. Nevertheless, for fear of price increases, more and more people are deciding to anticipate their stays.

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