French Hotel Industry Preparing for Recovery According to Extendam and Partners

Main Photo: The Paris hotel skyline

Date: May 2021

Location: France

Name: Extendam and others

Who They: The containment measures adopted by the French government to contain the third wave of the pandemic have weighed heavily on hotel activity in April 2021, according to the most recent monthly barometer carried out by Extendam with the support of various partners…..InExtenso/STR, D-Edge, E-axess-SpotPilot, Adaptel, Zenchef, SNCF Voyages, Flightradar, La Bourse des vols, Mytraffic, Deutsche Bank, Roland Berger, MKG Group, Mobimétrie and Noble Insights

What Did They Say: On the other hand, as France prepares to emerge from its glass bell, the first signs give French hoteliers hope of a recovery soon.

Where the hotel industry had recorded slight improvements over the last few months, the sanitary measures have led to a significant deterioration in the national occupancy rate (-7%) compared to the month of March. Still lagging behind, Île-de-France only lost one point, with an occupancy rate of 22%. On the other hand, the regional establishments, which were the real engines of the industry during the health crisis, were hit hard and saw their activities fall by almost 10 points, with an occupancy rate of only 28%.

Long the European leader in this field, France also saw its opening rate fall by 3 points to 81%, and was thus overtaken by Germany (94%), the Netherlands (91%) and Spain (85%).

“April was very complicated, but we are seeing a real upturn in booking volumes at the end of the month, both in hotels and restaurants,” says Vianney Lautrous, head of asset management at Extendam. “This shows a certain willingness and enthusiasm on the part of customers, which is encouraging. ”

The findings of the most recent barometer compiled by Extendam may indeed encourage French hoteliers to regain hope. “Since 25 April, as the deconfinement approaches, bookings have intensified and continue to grow”, reports D-Edge, for example, which adds that “the curves correlated with the gradual lifting of restrictions are very encouraging and should intensify over the coming months”.

In the same vein, E-Axess Spot Pilot argues that the month of April is ending with “good prospects” for the months to come: “Indeed, with more than 10% of bookings in the portfolio and an increase in the dynamics of booking, the month of May suggests more honourable results than the previous months. Nevertheless, given the many upcoming re-openings, booking volumes may initially be diluted and occupancy rates will have to be reinterpreted. ”

Even restaurant owners, who will be required not to exceed 50% of their capacity and to limit their tables to six guests, can hope for a more dynamic activity, according to Zenchef: “Despite these constraints, Zenchef recorded 27,867 reservations for the reopening period, from the first week of May. These results reflect the impatience and enthusiasm of customers to return to the conviviality of restaurants.”

And according to Vianney Lautrous, the French tourism industry is ready to take this recovery in its stride: “The hotel sector will have learned a lot from these last few months in terms of agility, in terms of closure, but also in terms of recovery. We can now restart the machine overnight, especially as the announced timetable offers us more clarity than in the past. ”

For the time being, the recovery should be driven primarily by a more local clientele, continues Vianney Lautrous: “Initially, the activity will be driven more by domestic and corporate clients, particularly on the economic market. Nevertheless, we will be able to count on international customers, particularly from countries bordering France, from this summer and in the medium term. ”

Also, although air traffic in 2021 is expected to represent only 43% of that recorded in 2019, according to Flightradar, they anticipate that “the health passes combined with the implementation of reinforced health protocols should however change the situation in the coming weeks and months.  ”Moreover, The Flight Exchange reports that online dry flight sales “have increased significantly compared to April 2020”, which represented the first month fully affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Also, the company believes that we are witnessing “a real and gradual recovery of the market with a massive reorientation towards the Mediterranean medium-haul. ”

As proof of this renewed interest in pan-European tourism, a study carried out by the Roland Berger consultancy reveals that “87% of Europeans feel a strong or very strong need to escape from their homes as soon as the health restrictions are lifted” and that “the budget devoted to these stays could be revised upwards to meet this desire”. A desire to travel that could well benefit the French tourist industry, concludes Vianney Lautrous: “The important tourist attraction of France is well known, so it is safe to assume that we will be able to benefit from this European craze soon.”

THPT Comment: So like the rest of Europe, everyone is pinning their hopes on the short-term rebound of the staycation market, and awaiting planes to fly again before the higher-spending international travellers help the Park Lane or Champs Elysees five-star hotels return to normal, possibly in 2022/23. Mind you tell that to the Paris hoteliers still looking at €2m a key to sell their hotels!

First Seen: Business Immo

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