Most categories reported stabilized rooms revenue compared to last year – with the notable exception of upscale and luxury hotels, as the absence of Middle Eastern guests due to Ramadan penalised upscale categories in Paris and on the Côte d’Azur. The good performance of urban destinations offering a national and international events programme should be highlighted: Marseille, European Capital of Culture, and Avignon, with its theatre festival, are perfect examples.
Results for July were mixed. No real increases in occupancy were reported, although performances did not appear to drop, either. Rooms revenue tended to be similar to 2012 levels (evolutions of -1% to +1%). The only snag – the Upscale and Luxury segments whose occupancy dropped significantly in Paris, as on the Côte d‟Azur and in regional France.
In Paris and on the Côte d‟Azur, falling occupancy was particularly visible, and accompanied by a drop in average rates. Certain luxury hotels even experienced rooms revenue declines of 10% or more – in other words, July was a difficult month for trading, given fewer Middle Easter guests. As Ramadan fell mostly in July, these high value - added guests preferred to postpone their trips. Given this, traditionally sought-after destinations such as Paris and the Mediterranean struggled due to the difficulty of replacing these clients by other segments in July.
The drops were less visible for upscale and luxury hotels in regional France, and essentially due to the on -going difficult economic context in the European market. However, declining occupancy was offset by a modest growth in average rates. For other categories, the trend was more towards stabilisation, with average rates coming under pressure. Urban destinations presented more mixed results, illustrating that a substantial events programme offering can only boost hotel activity. Marseille, European Capital of Culture, thus saw a significant rise in hotel performance indicators, particularly for city centre hotels. Another example of how culture brings business is Avignon, with a highly successful 2013 theatre festival – at least from a hotel point of view.
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