It’s not a recovery yet, it doesn’t seem to be, but despite this, the French hotel industry has reason to smile when it explains its numbers for 2021: its diversity and the strength of its home market. This enabled it to be the most successful in Europe, despite the constant difficulties of its Parisian engine.
The report by the analysis firm MKG, which specifically represents the urban hotel industry, shows that turnover is down 43% compared to 2019. It is ahead of the UK (- 47.6%), another country where CEO has been limited. Lockdowns linked to Covid-19 as much as possible in 2021. It is followed by Greece and Spain which had good summers, while the declines were most severe in Italy, Germany (63%) and the Benelux countries. However, the recovery of the European hotel industry is much slower than in the United States, China and the Middle East, and French hoteliers are far from restoring a comfortable financial position as a start to repaying state-guaranteed loans (PGE).
A successful summer in general
“As in 2020, the French hotel industry was the most resilient in Europe, reports Vanguelis Panayotis, CEO of MKG Consulting. For structural reasons, because we have the advantages of domestic customers, which the south countries do not have, and foreign customers in summer which the countries of the north do not have. For economic reasons, and because we are not as accredited as Germany at trade fairs, it was largely canceled in 2021.” Germany has also seen a health tightening since the federal election in September, which has particularly hurt domestic tourism.
Waves of Covid-19 and associated restrictions punctuated the year in four phases: the first five months of depression until gradual disintegration in May, with a drop in activity of more than 60%; a successful summer in general thanks to the French vacationers supported by a European clientele; Recovery remains shy of September, with hesitant event activity; And the steady improvement in the situation during the last three months of the year, particularly thanks to Halloween and the end of the year holidays.
Despite the recovery that began in Paris with Fashion Week in September, extended by the return of Americans, Ile-de-France remains the biggest loser in this tourism crisis.
These outlines conceal significant disparities between regions and hotel ranges. As usual, the “super-economy” segment has proven more resilient than the rest of the market, thanks to clients linked to French construction sites and leisure excursions. The turnover of the “budget” hotel business decreased by 25% in 2021 compared to 2019, and by only 9% in the second half. The loss was 36.5% in the economy, 44.1% in the medium term, and 54.4% in welfare. These last two parts depend respectively on trade fairs and conferences and on “long-distance” customers.
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