Surge in tourist numbers to Paris

 The number of tourists flocking to the capital is back to 2014 levels – before the attacks.

According to the figures of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau (OTCP), the last few weeks of 2016 and first few months of 2017 saw a very noticeable uptick in tourist numbers to Paris – the highest recorded since 2009.

Although some markets are still experiencing a downturn compared with December 2014, others are exhibiting strong growth – reflecting a positive trend overall:

  • United States: +31%
  • China: +40%
  • Middle East: +17%
  • Asia (not including China and Japan): +24%

This trend is continuing in January 2017 with arrivals of hotel guests in Greater Paris up by 20.1% from January 2016 and by 28.7% for foreigners. The levels observed in January 2017 have even reached a new high for this month, beating all previous January figures over the past ten years.

This fresh boost in visitor numbers is confirmed by the growth in hotel occupancy rates over the first few months of 2017. In January, the average occupancy rate in Greater Paris (source: MKG Consulting/Olakala Destination) reached 66.6%, up by 8.4 pts compared with January 2016. For February this figure is 63.4%, up by 5.6 pts. Judging by the first leading indicators, this trend is looking set to continue through March.

On a final note, this rosier outlook is also supported by observations as regards airline bookings for Paris. At the end of February, international flight arrivals were up by 11.1% for the current quarter (source: ForwardKeys). Growth on some markets is even outstripping this average by a wide margin: +77.0% for Japan, +30.9% for Brazil, +24.6% for the United States and +69.4% for Russia.

Thanks to new funds made available by the State, the City of Paris and Ile de France Region, the OTCP is busy rolling out all sorts of promotional initiatives in partnership with Atout France and the Ile de France Regional Tourist Board (CRT), and these will certainly help to shore up this recovery in the weeks to come.

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