Summer is in full swing in Paris, and the square in front of the Louvre is full of vendors selling Eiffel Tower souvenirs and water. Tens of thousands of American travelers flooded the French capital this summer as the US provided import substitution for wealthy Russian tourists. The mass tours of Americans to France are explained by the pleasant exchange rates for them.
According to the French press, the saturated tourist flow from the United States will bring a widespread sense of relief to the tourism sector, which has been hit by the coronavirus and “beaten” by sanctions from the loss of wealthy Russians who regularly flocked to France until February 24. and the city government predicts that North America will be the biggest contributor to the Paris tourism market this summer.
The conclusion was drawn based on booking statistics that are almost back to pre-Covid 2019 levels. “The Americans are doing their job. This means that they are coming back in droves and with more money to spend,” the media quoted the statement of the deputy mayor of Paris for tourism, Frédéric Auquart.
However, the Americans were noted outside of Paris. Officials and a tourist sketor note their presence in various popular cities and resort areas and enthusiastically chant: “The Americans are back!” For example, one of the headlines on the front page of the Nice Matin, a well-known French Riviera newspaper, read on July 6: “They are spending without counting after two years of restrictions.”
According to a report by research firm GfK for Visa, the average American group visitor spends $402 a day in France each, bringing a 10-day visit to a staggering $7,687 ($439,000). . rubles). In other words, Americans spend much more than any other foreign tourists.
There are no Russian tourists in the south of France
Americans are especially important this year in the south of France along the Mediterranean, whose beautiful coastlines have long been a haven for many wealthy Russian holidaymakers. Based on a report published by the Regional Chamber of Tourism, citing data from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country will lose $50.4 million in 2022 due to the lack of Russian tourists. Wealthy Russians visited popular French cities like Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat before the coronavirus pandemic and sanctions.
But those negative predictions have not materialized, the Chamber of Commerce said, acknowledging that “the summer season looks pretty good.”
The unexpected turn of events in tourism has been appreciated by both local officials and owners of luxury hotels on the French Riviera .
“It is true that there are fewer Russians, but they have been replaced by all other tourists,” said Jean-Francois Dieterich, the mayor of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. In a small town of less than 1,500 people, 6 out of 61 properties owned by wealthy Russians have been frozen by the French government, according to the French Ministry of Finance.
“It was quite surprising because we felt that the absence of a Russian clientele would affect the hotel, but in the end it did not happen,” the newspaper was quoted as saying by the manager of the five-star Royal-Riviera hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Before the pandemic, Russian tourists made up 20% to 25% of hotel guests during the summer months, but this year they all left due to sanctions imposed against Russia, Kesq said. An employee of a luxury hotel recalled the chaos that erupted after February 24 – Russian guests staying at the hotel had to pay in cash because their bank cards became useless due to the suspension of the SWIFT international payment system with Russian financial institutions.
< p>Now Americans are flocking to the Mercadal Hotel. Typically, US tourists accounted for about the same proportion of customers as pre-pandemic Russians, but this year alone in June, the share of US visitors jumped to 42%.
Events in Ukraine have also affected exchange rates, lowering prices the euro to its lowest level against the dollar since 2002, meaning that travel to Europe has become a lot cheaper for Americans. “What's happening this year has been tourist revenge,” the famous hotel's manager said, referring to the phenomenon of travelers spending money on big trips to offset the forced lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years. “This is a good surprise, and it largely compensates for the lack of a Russian clientele,” he added.
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