Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2024
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Paris struggling to fill hotels as tourists snub Olympics | World | News


Parisian hoteliers are sounding the alarm over the concerning number of hotel rooms still unbooked as France prepares to host the Olympic Games. 

Businesses are worried that tourists are swerving the French capital on the assumption that the cost of a holiday in the city will skyrocket during the Games.

As a result, airline AirFrance could see a possible shortfall of £152m if holidaymakers decide against booking flights to Paris.

AirFrance-KLM Group said in a statement: “International markets show a significant avoidance of Paris. Travel between the city and other destinations is also below the usual June-August average as residents in France seem to be postponing their holidays until after the Olympic Games or considering alternative travel plans. 

“Travel to and from France is expected to normalise after the Olympic Games, with encouraging demand levels projected for the end of August and the month of September.”

The lack of visitors means the city’s hotels are far from full, with occupany rates as much as 25 percent down on what they were last year, according to some polls.

According to Euronews, Ze Hotel’s director Aldric Duval said: “I think the Olympic Games effect is counter-productive since everything is very expensive.”

He added: “We explained to [tourists] that traffic restrictions were going to be complicated, that the price of a metro ticket was going to triple, that the tourist tax had tripled… On top of that, the weather is difficult, so people are less inclined to come.”

Insee, France’s official statistics office, reported last July that hotel occupancy rates in the capital averaged 90.7 percent.

However, current projections suggest numbers could be well down during the Games, with four in 10 rooms left empty.

The issue isn’t just confined to hotel accommodation either, with rental apartment demand appearing equally sluggish.

WeHost co-founder Romain Bellet said AirBnB occupancy rates were as low as 20 percent in May.

“It’s extremely quiet,” he said bluntly.



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