December 5, 2017 / 5:11 PM / 10 months ago

French hotels 2017 occupancy rates seen at nine-year high

PARIS (Reuters) - Foreign tourists, who shunned France over security concerns following Islamist attacks in 2015, have returned, driving hotel occupancy rates to a nine-year high, hotel research firm MKG Consulting said on Tuesday.

Overall French hotel occupancy rates are seen rising by 3 percentage points year-on-year to 68.2 percent in 2017, their highest level since 69 percent in 2008, while revenue per available room is seen rising 4.5 percent, with average prices remaining flat.

“This confirms France’s tourism potential and allows us to anticipate a positive trend for 2018,” Vanguelis Panayotis, CEO of MKG Consulting told Reuters.

The rebound was driven by an increase in the number of tourists from the United States, China, Japan, and Russia. The trend mainly benefited the Paris region, where occupancy rates rose by nearly six points year on year.

The Paris region suffered the most from a tourist lull that followed Islamist attacks in the French capital in November 2015 that killed 130 people.

Tourism generates over 7 percent of France’s national income.

The industry’s recovery is not confined to Paris. The French government expects foreign visitor numbers nationwide to rise to 89 million in 2017 from 83 million last year. France targets 100 million visitors annually by 2020.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Pascale Denis; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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