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December 2022: The French hotel industry pulls in the crowds

If France faced several shortages in December, the French hotel industry did not lack tourists!

France's hotel occupancy surpassed pre-covid (December 2019) levels this month: +0.2 points. The sector reached a national average occupancy rate at 57.6%. Thanks to an ADR that increased by 22.9%, the country was indeed able to post a RevPAR at +23.3%.

However, let's remember that December 2019 had been marked by the start of the "gilets jaunes" protests, which led to numerous booking's cancellations in hotels in the capital. In the Province, the impact of the "gilets jaunes" and the transport strike had also had repercussions even if slightly weaker. Thus, the performance of hotels in December 2022 vs. 2019 is to be qualified.

This month, the budget and midscale segments are the ones that managed to surpass their pre-Covid levels with +0.2 and +1.4 points, respectively, but the economy and upscale ones are also not far from recovering theirs (only -0.3 points and -1.3 points). On the other hand, all the segments have managed to show a considerable increase in ADRs (between +13.4% for budget and up to +34.8% for top-of-the-range), resulting in very encouraging RevPAR levels: up to +32.1% for upscale segment.

 

Geographically, Paris recorded the best results in terms of both occupancy rate and average daily rates: the +6.1% occupancy rate vs. 2019 is of course skewed by the unfavorable results of the Paris hotel industry due to the strikes and demonstrations in December 2019, and the capital posted an ADR increase of nearly 40%! Compared to last year, the change is also considerable since Paris was still somewhat affected by the absence of international customers in late 2021.

Ile-de-France excluding Paris is the area that remains slightly behind the others with a difference of -2.8 points in attendance vs. December 2019 and "only" 8.9% increase in average price (while the average trend in France is 22.9%).

Finally, the Province is almost back to the December 2019 occupancy rate level (-0.2 points) and shows a 14% increase in RevPAR thanks to an increasing ADR (+14.5%).

Specifically, all French regions experienced increases in RevPAR in December 2022 relative to the pre-covid. Ile-de-France breaks a record with +32.9% RevPAR (skewed by the weak results of December 2019 - the capital being particularly affected by the strikes) and Normandie for its part shows the "weakest" growth but which still amounts to 5%! While all regions are very close to their 2019 results in terms of occupancy rates, some even manage to post better results: Corsica (1 point), Grand-Est (1.8 points), Ile-de-France (1 point) and Occitanie (1.1 points). On the price side, the Ile-de-France region is showing the strongest change (vs. December 2019) with +31% change.

On a departmental scale, several destinations managed to post RevPAR increases of more than 45%: Indre, Lot, Paris and the Pyréenées Orientales, and overall, few destinations failed to return to their pre-COVID standards (Morbihan, Lozère, Gers, Calvaldos, Cantal, Charente and Allier).

And the recovery that had recently become apparent in the major French cities was confirmed in December 2019. Even Toulouse, which had long been in the background, posted growth of +5.6% in terms of RevPAR this month vs. 2019. Strasbourg and Paris of course signed the strongest growth driven by leisure tourists and Christmas markets.

But if December results were rather "good", the rest of the winter season remains to be confirmed: many cancellations took place at the beginning of the year due to the lack of snow in ski resorts. How will January look like in terms of hotel performance ?

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