US Luxury Travel Firms Report Inadequate Interest in the Upcoming Paris Olympics

By Trisha Andrada

Jun 13, 2024 06:53 AM EDT

paris olympics
The campaign's official logo of the Paris bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games is seen on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on February 9, 2016. (Photo : LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

Luxury travel firms in the United States are reporting a poor demand for tickets to the Paris Olympics. Affluent travelers choose to visit adjacent sites in Europe instead.

Bookings Come from Budget-Conscious Tourists

Travel agencies report that, unlike in previous years, the reservations for the Paris Olympics, which takes place from July 26 to August 11, are coming from more budget-conscious tourists, as reported by Reuters.

Wealthy travelers choose to go to neighboring European locations instead. Therefore, Luxury stores in Europe predict increased sales outside of France due to wealthy tourists staying away from Paris City during the games.

According to Forward Keys, an airline ticketing analytics business, the US is the origin market with the most tickets issued for arrivals to Paris during the games as of late May. Travel from the US to Paris is expected to have a 37% year-over-year growth compared to the same time in 2023.

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Demand May Have Weakened

According to Misty Belles of the luxury travel operator Virtuoso, Paris is still a popular destination, but the demand may not be as strong as it once was.

Vacation packages to Paris have increased by 172% year-over-year for Virtuoso, while packages to France have decreased by 22%. Since 2023, summer reservations in neighboring Spain have risen 44%, and there has been a 10% increase in the United Kingdom.

While the Miami-based luxury travel concierge The Prelude has heard requests for Olympic tickets and packages, no reservations have been received as of yet. Considering the kind of clients they have and the fact that the Olympics are not until July, founder Stefan Di-Finizio told Reuters that they anticipate beginning to receive a significant increase in requests around the middle to the end of June.

However, according to Accor Group CEO Sebastien Bazin, who spoke at an industry conference in New York in early June, hotel reservations for the Olympics are not exactly blowouts.

He predicted an 85% occupancy rate, similar to the previous year when the Olympics were not held there. However, he did warn that it would not be as spectacular as we had hoped.

The commercial real estate analytics company CoStar predicts a 9.1% year-over-year rise in occupancy for luxury and higher-upscale hotels in August because of the 11 days of games scheduled during that period. Room costs will likely increase by 73% at that time.

According to CoStar's projections, occupancy in July will be 0.5% lower than the previous year.

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