The last weeks of 2016 and the first months of 2017 have shown a sharp recovery in visitor numbers in Paris tourism after 12 months of decline, the largest recorded since 2009.
Thus, the month of December 2016 saw hotel arrivals in Greater Paris increase by 19.5 % compared to December 2015, with a progression of 28 %for foreigners. More significant still, these arrivals were back at the level of December 2014, before the series of attacks that affected France from January 2015.
When compared with December 2014, although some markets were still in sharp decline (Japan, Italy, and Russia especially), others showed strong growth reflecting a positive underlying trend: United States (+ 31 %), China (+ 40 %), Middle East (+ 17 %), Asia, excluding China and Japan, (+ 24 %).
These observations were confirmed in January 2017 with hotel arrivals in Greater Paris up by 20.1 % compared to January 2016 and by 28.7% for foreigners. The level reached in January 2017 is even a record for the month of January over the past 10 years.
This recovery in visitor numbers has been confirmed by the evolution in hotel occupancy rates in the first months of 2017. In January, the average occupancy rate in Greater Paris (source: MKG Consulting/Olakala Destination) reached 66.6 %, an increase of 8.4 points compared to January 2016. It was 63.4 % in February, an increase of 5.6 pts. The first indicators confirm this trend for March.
Finally, a follow-up of airline bookings for Paris also reinforces this view of a recovery. At the end of February, international air arrivals in Paris for the current quarter were up by 11.1 % (source: ForwardKeys). Some markets even showed growth that was largely superior to this average: + 77.0 % for Japan, + 30.9 % for Brazil, + 24.6 % for the United States, and + 69.4 % for Russia.
On the basis of this information, Pierre Schapira, Chairman of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, declared: "These indicators show a distinct reversal in the situation in tourism in Paris, which all tourism trade professionals are delighted about. This recovery however remains to be confirmed over the coming weeks at the start of the spring and summer 2017 high season. Exceptional marketing initiatives carried out by the PCVB, in partnership with Atout France and the CRT Ile de France, thanks to resources made available by the State, Paris City Hall and the Ile de France region, are of course going to contribute to that”.
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