The key trends:
- For the second week of fall holidays, air travel searches increased by a factor of almost 1.5 (+44%) for destinations in France and by 3 (+200%) for international destinations compared to 2020.
- In September 2021, Amadeus observed twice as many bookings from France to international destinations (+104%) as in 2020.
- The top five countries to which air travel has been booked from France for this fall are Spain, Italy, Morocco, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Hotel occupancy in France for the holiday period is close to 33% 2 weeks prior and could increase significantly given the short booking lead times.
The French return to travel for All Saints’ Day 2021
The French seem to be planning again and preparing to travel for All Saints’ Day after a 2020 that was heavily impacted by COVID-19.
According to Amadeus Search Travel data, there has been a sharp increase in searches for vacation departures, both in France and abroad! For the first week of vacation, searches for air travel jumped by an average of 58% towards French destinations and 185% for international destinations, while for the second week, it increased by 30% for France and by 229% for international destinations.*
France, but also Morocco and the United States are trendy destinations for Fall 2021
Top 3 French cities where French people intend to travel:
1 – Paris
2 – Nice
3 – Marseille
Among the most popular local destinations for the French people, we notice Paris, and also sunny cities such as Marseille or Nice. However, their intentions do not only concern France. Internationally, searches for a Paris-Milan trip have seen very strong growth over the two weeks (+200% on average), as have searches for Paris-Rome (+166%), but also Paris-New York, revitalized by the reopening of the United States to European tourists (+140% of searches).
Top 5 countries where French people have booked air travel:
1 – Spain
2 – Italy
3 – Morocco
4 – Greece
5 – United Arab Emirates
But beyond the research done on these destinations, the booking trends provide even more concrete insight into the plans of the French for All Saints’ holidays. In September 2021, Amadeus observed twice as many bookings from France to international destinations (+104%) as in 2020, an encouraging sign for the season. The top 5 countries to which air travel has been booked from France for this fall are Spain, Italy, Morocco, Greece and the United Arab Emirates. These destinations are relatively in line with those being researched.
Confidence is increasing in the hotel sector
In addition to air travel, there are positive signs for the hotel industry after a long period of uncertainty. According to Amadeus’ Demand360® solution, which provides on-the-books forward-looking hotel occupancy data, occupancy in France for the All Saints’ vacation period is currently well above 2020 – when the All Saints’ Day vacation was a lockdown period. However, since many travelers are still booking at the last minute, occupancy could be higher in comparison to 2019!
Another encouraging sign is the change in booking behavior of French travelers, who are increasingly booking their stays in advance. The time between booking a hotel room and checking in is getting closer and closer to 2019 levels, as are occupancy rates in mid-sized and larger cities. Thus, for the All Saints’ holiday period, hotel occupancy in Reims is 34% to date, in Montpellier 28%, in Lyon and Lille 26% and 25%, respectively.
Bertrand Poey, Amadeus’ Commercial Director, France, says, “This data supports the findings from the traveler surveys that we have commissioned over the last year – people’s love for travel is unspoiled. As restrictions are easing, we see international travel picking up with twice as many bookings in September compared to last year. And with hotel occupancy being close to 33% two weeks prior to the All Saints holidays, we can look ahead with optimism for the French travel industry.”
Methodology / Sources:
*All comparisons in the release are to 2020 figures during the same search or booking period.
Amadeus, a technology solutions provider for the travel industry, used a variety of air travel, car rental and hotel reservation and occupancy databases:
Amadeus Air Search Travel Data is the industry’s most comprehensive air traffic solution, compiling searches and transactions from more than 2,500 customers worldwide, including travel agencies.
Amadeus Demand360® is the industry’s only comprehensive business intelligence solution. Used by more than 30,000 hoteliers worldwide, Demand360® provides two years of historical market data and one year of forecasted room occupancy data to enable hoteliers to create their most profitable revenue strategies and outperform the competition.
For more insight and market data for France, visit our dedicated page.