Surroundings (or Alentour), a digital platform for local tourism in France, recently reported on a survey of the expectations of French holidaymakers this summer on national territory. Among the major trends: leisure booking is done at the last moment, by gleaning ideas online. Preference goes to outdoor activities.
In terms of tourist activities, the trend is last minute: 83 percent of holidaymakers plan to book their leisure activities once there. This is what emerges from the survey carried out by the Paris-based research institute, Odoxa (http://www.odoxa.fr/), for Surroundings.
Although the Odoxa survey focused on the domestic market—it looked at behavior and expectations of 822 French holidaymakers who planned to travel on national territory between May and September 2022—the results provide French travel marketers with a better framework of understanding French behavior and its relationship to the travel product as part of a whole. This will no doubt not be lost on those who French operators and agencies who sell Visit USA product.
A note: For the first half of 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) reported that France ranked Number 4 among all overseas source markets to the U.S., sending more than a half-million visitors to the United States.
From the Survey—The big trends
- For their holidays, 73 percent of French travelers surveyed planned to stay in commercial accommodation (hotels, hostels, vacation homes, lodges and other seasonal rentals, etc.), rather than in a second home or with friends (26 percent).
- Nine out of ten intended to practice tourism and leisure activities. Sports and outdoor activities are the most popular (49 percent), closely followed by culture (48 percent), gastronomic or wine tourism activities (35 percent) and guided tours or “tours.
- The average budget granted to leisure activities reaches 351 euros. (Almost a quarter of those surveyed were even ready to go over 600 euros.)
- More than 8 times out of 10, these activities are decided at the last moment and booked on site.
- 79 percent of holidaymakers asked people working in the accommodation where they are staying for recommendations to find out about nearby leisure activities (76 percent), restaurants (73 percent), monuments and other points of interest (65 percent).
- The other preferred method for finding out what is possible is the web, via activity recommendation and reservation sites or the destination’s tourist office.
Observed Timothée de Roux, president of Surroundings: “The results of the Odoxa survey reinforce our convictions concerning the need and the opportunity represented by the digitalization of the offer of tourist activities in France.”