“We are going to break attendance records,” Didier Arino assures AFP. According to the director of the consulting company Protourisme, the “departure rates over the summer are good, we should reach 50% of starters, which is a huge figure”.
Just over 33 million French people will go on vacation in July-August, one million more than in 2019 before the pandemic, according to him.
“We thought that the war in Ukraine was going to cool” the desire of the French to go on vacation but after an effect of amazement, “it started again very quickly”, confirms to AFP Alain de Mendoça, president of Promovacances / Fram.
“There is an appetite for France and for foreign countries,” he says. This is evidenced by the group’s turnover, up 5 to 10% in France and 30 to 40% abroad compared to 2019.
Italy, Spain and Greece remain the leading foreign destinations, but Tunisia and Morocco are also making a comeback. Travel agencies are already asking that we stop selling stays in Sicily and Sardinia, “and it’s starting in Greece and Spain where there must be 20% availability”, specifies Mr. de Mendoça.
“If I have any advice to give, it’s not to wait until the last minute to book,” he says.
In France, initially, reservations were made to classic destinations on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast, according to Didier Arino. Then “there was a stop with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine”.
– Nearby destination –
Then, two profiles of vacationers emerged: vacationers who could afford to increase their budget compared to 2019, wanting to “take advantage of it”, and vacationers penalized by the rise in prices, especially of gasoline, and who have chosen “cheaper and therefore local destinations”, notes Didier Arino.
“There has been a brake on the great North-South migration”, underlines Solange Escure, national director of Gîtes de France who notes that holidaymakers have reduced the distances to be covered.
Gîtes de France already shows an occupancy rate of 65% in July and 68% in August “with weeks at 90-95%”, according to the director who points out that some holidaymakers have booked early, for some ” starting this fall.”
If the distances are reduced, the length of stay remains the same (10.5 days on average) as well as the budget (1,930 euros / household, or 80 euros more than in 2019 and substantially equal to 2021), according to Didier Arino .
“This shows that for the French, holidays are fundamental and that there is a desire for reunions, shared pleasures”, he adds.
The budgetary restrictions will be made on catering and paid outings, according to the specialist.
As for the accommodation chosen, he notes “a very strong increase in camping”.
At Siblu, operator of 21 top-of-the-range campsites in France, the campsites in the south of France are already 90 to 95% full and those in the North between 65 and 70%, with a novelty: a very good first week of July .
“Perhaps because it is cheaper” because outside school holidays, says Mickaël Quilfen, marketing director of Siblu. In general, “the campsite offers a style of vacation that remains accessible to many French people”, he believes, also noting that reservations were made “well in advance” this year.