What will French summer holidays look like? – Ouest-France evening edition


Many French people look forward to the summer holidays at this time of year. But by the way, where will they mostly work? How much do they spend on their vacation? How long do they parent? We asked these questions to Didier Arino, director of the independent consulting firm Protourism and expert in the tourism sector.

After more than two years marked by successive confinements linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, closed borders and other impediments when going on vacation, will the summer of 2022 be that of a return to normal? ? One month before the start of the summer holidays, we are witnessing “a resurgence of intentions to go on vacation in the summer of 2022”reveals a survey by the Ifop polling institute, carried out for the Interhome France vacation rental platform, and evaluated with a sample of 1,004 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

But what will summer holidays look like for the French? Who are those who parent? What are the popular destinations? How long will their holidays last? Will their budget be somewhat limited thanks to savings made on holidays and leisure activities since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis or rather restricted due to inflation and declining purchasing power? We take stock with Didier Arino, director of the Protourisme expertise firm, and the Ifop study.

Who are the French people going on vacation this summer?

55% of French people plan to go on vacation this summer, according to the Ifop study, 44% in France and 11% abroad. Not surprisingly, Didier Arino explains that “It’s the families who parent the most during the summer holidays. Even if a small decrease is observed among working-class families ».

And among the 21% of French people who do not intend to go on vacation this summer, we find “The most precarious public, rural people and large families are the most represented”details the Ifop study.

Where are they parents?

” In Spain ! », responds tit for tat Didier Arino. It must be said that this destination is coming “very much in the lead”, at least when talking about holidays abroad. After Spain, the other most popular countries will be “Italy, Greece, Portugal, then the Maghreb countries and in particular Morocco and Tunisia which are experiencing a fairly strong post-pandemic recovery”he lists.

Spain is the most popular foreign destination for the French for summer holidays. This is the case of these tourists who impose themselves in front of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. (Photo: Lluis Gene / AFP)

If Didier Arino begins by detailing the places of stay outside France, it is because the French are quite numerous to consider going abroad. “At the height of the health crisis, in the summer of 2020, 94% of French holidaymakers stayed in France, and 6% went on holiday outside our borders; last year, they were 15% from abroad and this year they are 25% to consider it. » The expert specifies: “We are not quite back to the level before the crisis, but we are almost back to normal”.

And in France then? “The two key destinations, chosen by the French this summer, in the country, are Occitania and New Aquitainecontinues Didier Arino. But it should be noted that they are both very large regions in terms of surface area”. Then, the two territories that will come in second place, “these are Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur and Brittany”.

For this summer, “Holidaymakers are looking for destinations with an identity, a heritage, a strong cultural universe, local know-how, they no longer just want to go to the beach. It is for this reason that regions such as Corsica, Brittany or the Basque Country are increasingly visited. This is a trend that has emerged since the pandemic. » Didier Arino notices the same attraction for preserved natural areas, wide open spaces.

Read also: What are the travel desires of the French for 2022?

What types of accommodation do they choose?

Regarding accommodation, “French holidaymakers book in rather upscale campsites, those with water fun areas, or they opt for furnished rentals, apartments, or even gites”notes Didier Arino.

Many French people choose campsites with mobile homes to stay during their summer holidays. (Illustrative photo: Guillaume Saligot / Ouest-France)

And these housing choices are, again this year, made by the Covid-19 crisis, according to the Ifop study, and this for 31% of those questioned. They were 42% to declare choosing their place of accommodation taking into account the epidemic in 2020. And in general, still according to Ifop, one in two French people who wish to go on vacation indicates that the coronavirus crisis continue to have an impact on the choice of destination.

Read also: Here are the ten French villages most searched for by holidaymakers on the internet

How long will the French holidays last?

As for the average length of stays, it will be stable compared to last year: « 12 days on average and 10.5 days with the rental of merchant accommodationsays Didier Arino. Last year, the length of holidays had increased slightly, and it remained at this level. »

What will be the average budget?

According to Ifop, “It will be identical to last year’s”. For his part, Didier Arino observes: “For a family of four, two adults, two children, going on vacation for 10.5 days, the average budget is €1,720”. And according to him, “It’s a good year in terms of budget, we are at the top of the basket of what the French usually grant to summer holidays”.

And the Ifop study goes in the same direction: “Only a quarter of future vacationers have a lower budget than last summer. They were 39% in this situation just before the summer of 2020, while 56% presented a budget identical to that of last summer and 18% a higher budget”.

What explains the beautiful holiday budgets according to Didier Arino is that “the French want a vacation, for two years, they have left less with the pandemic”. He has been observing this phenomenon since June 2021. “Holiday departures have continued to grow, ski resorts have been a hit this winter, and tourist destinations are jam-packed on weekends this spring. The only destinations that suffer are those that depend on foreign tourists. »

The director of Protourisme also noticed that the reservations were numerous and very advanced, until the beginning of the war in Ukraine. “The French let loose on the budget, reserved more beautiful accommodation. » It ended with the stupefaction that followed the start of the conflict. “Now it’s those who don’t want to stray too far from their homes, to save fuel, who book.” »

Read also: Six tips to pay less for your holidays

On the other hand, according to Didier Arino, inflation and the purchasing power crisis do not really affect the reservations of French holidaymakers. “The most impacted by inflation are those who do not parent on vacation. » He pursues : “Those who have the best holiday budgets, the upper socio-professional categories, are not really affected by the rise in the price of pasta and gasoline, they do not change their holiday plans. »

For the others, the expert estimates that we will notice a drop in expenses only once they are on their vacation spot. “Many of them have booked accommodation where you can cook, so they will go to restaurants less, and they will visit one beautiful and exceptional site rather than three and will turn to free activities nearby. » He adds : “The tourism sector felt this crisis in purchasing power much more in the summer of 2023 than in 2022”.

Who will be the foreigners in France this summer?

While French people will spend their holidays abroad, some foreigners will have chosen France for their holidays. And “Those who should make their big comeback post-Brexit and post-pandemic are the British”, launches Didier Arino. Foreigners were the most numerous to come and live in France in the summer a few years ago.

Next, “It is the Germans and the inhabitants of the Benelux, whether Belgians, Dutch and Luxembourgers, who were to be the most numerous foreigners in France this summer. We are also seeing good growth in customers from southern European countries, such as the Spaniards and Italians”.

And as a rule of Europeans, “80% and even more”. And the number of the latter among the foreigners who come to stay in France in the summer “even climb to 95%, if we stick to most of the French territory, by retreating Paris and the Côte d’Azur”.

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