Tourism: France resists to the coronavirus shock wave but the international incomes drop

Published by Alexandre G. · Photos by Alexandre G. · Published on 18 September 2020 at 15h47
This Wednesday September 16, the government has presented the assessment on the 2020 tourist season in France, and results are mixed. Even though tourism is experiencing a recovery “better than expected” in France, internationally, tourist losses are unfathomable. All in all, the global touristic incomes are estimated between 50 and 60 billion euros.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, how is tourism in France and globally? If we believe the latest data of the tourist season report published by the French government, as planned, indicators are red. Yet, a few hopeful hints are to be noticed as for tourism in France.

As a matter of fact, as said in the council ministers’ report “the first estimations of the summer visits show results better than feared this past spring, even though the Covid-19 health crisis has deeply affected the tourism players”. When reading the report, we are told that “France has resisted better than its neighbors”. If you look for the reasons for a positive tourist report in France, you better have a look at the mobilization of the domestic market. This year, 53% of French left in July and August, and 94% of them have decided to stay in France.

Add to this the visit of close European tourists, with an honorable mention to Benelux (Belgian, Dutch) or from Germany. According the report, it is also “the quality and diversity of the French offer” that managed to attract as many people. Yet, and this is no surprise, the tourist season has been a disaster for big cities. For instance, in Paris, hotels have noticed their visits have dropped and reached an extremely low occupation rate. To the pleasure of vacation rentals and guesthouses who made the most of proximity tourism, short stays and last-minute stays.

Moving on to incomes, data look glum. All in all, Atout France estimates the potential loss of the global tourist incomes between 50 and 60 billion euros in 2020. That is to say a 30 to 35% decrease of the yearly tourist consumption. Moreover, according to Banque de France data, international tourism has generated 12.3 billion euros in the first quarter of 2020, against 25.5 billion over the same period of time in 2019, that is to say a 51.6% drop!

Moreover, the French government’s tourist assessment adds extra details as for the famous loan guaranteed by the government granted to the tourist sector. Thanks to the government’s help, the sector enjoyed 18 billion euros of help from the emergency plan, including about 9.6 billion euros borrowed by restaurant and hospitality trade companies. Moreover, the government unlocks a 50-million euro enveloped for the creation of a support trust for the emergence of sustainable tourist projects. It will definitely boost green tourism!

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