By Anna Ellis •
Updated: 26 Oct 2023 • 13:11
Paris Experiences a Rugby World Cup Renaissance. Image: Vernerie Yann / Shutterstock.com
As the Rugby World Cup unfolds, the City of Lights is already glowing with the tournament’s impact.
It’s not just about the tries and tackles on the field; Paris is alive with a different kind of energy.
Even before the competition concludes, we’re witnessing fascinating transformations.
While the heart of Paris, ‘intra-muros’, sees consistent domestic tourist numbers compared to the previous year, there’s an international influx that’s hard to miss.
International visitors have surged by an impressive 15.6 per cent.
What’s intriguing is that this surge is most prominent in markets where the home team battles for glory.
And on match days, you can practically feel the city pulsate with excitement.
Parisian hotels have played host to a remarkable spectacle. On match days (up until October 5), they boasted an impressive 82.9 per cent occupancy rate.
While it may appear to be a slight dip when compared to 2022 (-2.2 per cent) and 2019 (-3.6 per cent), it’s essential to recognise that among the host cities, Saint-Étienne, Nice, and Nantes have been standout performers.
Their occupancy rates soared by 13.4 per cent, 4.8 per cent, and 4.6 per cent, respectively.
It’s only natural to wonder about the recent disruptions, the evacuations of airports and iconic monuments.
Google searches concerning these events related to Paris have indeed seen a spike in recent days.
However, the good news is that these spikes aren’t enough to tarnish Paris’s allure in the long run.
Airline searches for Paris remain strong, ensuring the City of Love remains a coveted destination.
As we look ahead to November 2023, the skies and hotel rooms of Paris are beckoning travellers with open arms.
Compared to 2022, international air arrivals have seen a staggering 23.2 per cent increase, a figure that echoes the levels of 2019.
Paris is once again a global crossroads for eager explorers.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing.
The shadow of the Middle East conflict looms large.
November bookings from the Middle East have dipped significantly, down 49 per cent from 2022 and a concerning 68 per cent from 2019 as of October 7.
It’s a reminder that the global landscape can affect the travel industry.
Despite these challenges, the first week of November looks promising. Hotel occupancy forecasts hover above 65 per cent, demonstrating the resilience of Paris’s tourism industry.
In summary, Paris is basking in the limelight of the Rugby World Cup, and its allure remains strong despite recent disruptions.
International visitors are pouring in, hotel rooms are filling up, and Paris is poised for a grand renaissance.
As we navigate these evolving circumstances, one thing is clear: The City of Light continues to shine bright.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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