Paris draws the crowds

Pictured: the forthcoming Locke Paris by edyn.
Investors continue to appreciate the value of hotels in Paris, where the French capital has delivered consistently strong operational performance, recovering fully after the pandemic.

The French capital continues to catch the eye of international travellers, and equally or international hotel investors. As the city makes final preparations for its hosting of the 2024 summer Olympic Games, consultants HVS have reported on the destination’s performance.

Paris has long demonstrated itself as a benchmark, when it comes to providing a destination for leisure travellers. With a plethora of unique attractions, it has continued to attract strong visitor numbers, regularly recording more than 15 million visitors to the region every year. The mix is made up of around 40-45% domestic visitors, says the HVS report, while international visitor numbers are led by the USA, followed by arrivals from other European nations: British, German, Italian and Spanish visitors.

Visitors return to the French capital

Prior to the pandemic, visitor numbers hit a high in 2017, although the consultants note that shorter stays meant less business for hotels. Since the pandemic, in 2021 the city saw a strong rebound in arrivals, a trend that has continued with 2023 recording the highest number of bednights sold ever. The figures were, no doubt, helped by sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup. This year, the Olympics may again provide a boost to numbers, though history tells us that too often, city hosts expect more in visitor numbers than actually arrive, as non-sports fans who might otherwise travelled will delay their plans, or find an alternative destination where they will expect less disruption.

For those in the hotel business, the other key audience to consider is the international hotel investor. And HVS reckons that consistent performance is one supporting act, with hotel day rates in Paris certainly keeping pace with inflation over the last decade. In some segments, such as luxury, the consultants note “sky-rocketing rates observed in Parisian palace hotels and luxury properties” which help skew the overall ADR growth figures.

All those visitors feed into a hotel market with around 92,800 rooms in 1,680 hotels. The room count has moved by just 5% in the last decade, a modest addition of just over 5,200 rooms, say HVS, with most of those additions in the upscale and luxury segments. In contrast with the market in general, Paris has seen a reduction in branded hotels, with independents now accounting for around 55% of the market.

Pipeline picking up

Supply is gently picking up, however, with around 1,800 rooms due to be launched into the Paris market over the next four years. Around 80% of that count is already under construction, with many hotels scheduled for opening in 2024. Among those due to launch in the coming months are the Hotel Maison Hamelin, which will join Accor’s Handwritten Collection, and co-living project Lyf Gambetta Paris. Locke will also open its 145 unit Le Jardin de Verre aparthotel.

Looking further ahead, 2025 should see the completion of the 120 room Light Human Hotel Paris, and 118 room Hilton Paris Eiffel Tower. And the following year, visitors should expect to be able to book a room at the Radisson Blu Triangle Hotel, and new Louis Vuitton hotel being developed in the company’s Paris headquarters.