The tourism industry has recovered, on a global scale, during the year 2022. And, with it, the competition between destinations. The health crisis not completely over, galloping inflation, sensitive geopolitics… How is France doing well in this still turbulent context?
To estimate the attractiveness of France over a season, Mabrian relies on flight searches in the country of origin, during the last quarter of 2022 for trips scheduled between January 1, 2023 and March 31, 2023. And compares them to the data recorded during the period October / December 2018, for trips planned between January 1, 2019 and March 2019 (the health crisis having started at the end of 2019 in Asia, and in particular in China). And while searches are down on the Portuguese (2nd), American (4th) and Indian (10th) markets, the other Top 10 destinations studied are all growing. Overall, “searches for flights to France for the period January to March 2023 are on the rise”, specifies Mabrian in his study. They increased in October (+49% compared to 2018), in November (+59%) and in December (+69%), thus testifying to a real recovery in international tourism to France.
Nevertheless, Mabrian specifies that “the increase in searches does not systematically lead to an improvement in the attractiveness of the destination”. For example, in the United States, the increase in searches for flights to France is 29% between October and December 2022 compared to 2018. “However, out of a million searches for flights made by Americans during this same period ( October to December), 3,000 concern France, whereas in 2018 this figure was 4,219”. The market share of searches for flights concerning France on American territory has therefore declined.
Lower air connectivity than 2019
These research dynamics come as, this winter, France will present a lower level of air connectivity than 2019, with -19.2% of incoming flights and -9.1% of planned seats. A difference with winter 2019 which is mainly due to reduced long-haul capacity (-48.7% from Hong Kong, -48% from Japan, -9% from India or -15% from Brazil ). On the other hand, air capacity is increasing on departure from the United States (+13%) and Canada (+6%).
In medium-haul, even if it is improving from Spain and Italy, air connectivity remains down compared to 2019. Thus, capacity in terms of seats to France will be 35% lower since Germany and 9% from the UK.
Hotel prices are all on the rise, in France as well as among its neighbors and competitors. According to Mabrian, this is a “sign that hotels are banking on a better winter season than last year”, which was disrupted by the Omicron variant. The increase is all the more significant for establishments classified 5* in France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
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