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France anticipates influx of travellers during Summer Olympics, 5.4% from Japan

by Staff

As the world gears up for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, travel data shared by digital marketing platform Sojern sheds light on the burgeoning travel interest surrounding the massive event. Scheduled from July 26th to August 11th, 2024, the Olympics is said to be the largest event ever organised in France, drawing 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees that represent nations from all over the world.

Sojern’s report says that between the Super Bowl, Olympics, European Championship, and other major sporting events, ad spending is projected to reach $61 billion this year alone. These major sporting events also renew interest in host destinations long after the final match. After Qatar hosted the World Cup, the country saw between a 79-255% increase in international lodging searches, bucking seasonal travel trends. 

Flight bookings to host destinations surge as attendees flock to support their favorite teams. For instance, ahead of the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore, flight bookings soared by 63% compared to the previous year, showcasing the significant impact of such events on travel.

 

 

Paris, already a favored destination (6.3 million travelers visited the Eiffel Tower in 2023, surpassing pre-COVID-19 tourism), has witnessed a notable increase in travel demand since the release of Olympic tickets in November 2023. The report highlights that flight bookings to Paris during the Olympic period have surged by an impressive 125% compared to the previous year, indicating a substantial influx of visitors.

Interestingly, the report also finds that travellers exhibit varying arrival dates, suggesting strategic planning around specific events and available vacation time. Moreover, the majority of travellers intend to depart Paris on the final day of the Olympics, reflecting the prevalence of short-duration trips, particularly from countries with limited vacation allowances like the United States. Additionally, with an average trip length of 11 days compared to 13.2 in 2023, it’s clear that the games are driving travel decisions.

Speaking of the US, for American travelers, France remains a top summer destination. According to Sojern flight booking data, 23.8% of bookings during the Olympic period to Paris originate from the United States, followed by Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and Spain. The United States led the medal count in both the 2020 and 2016 Olympics, which may be contributing to demand. 

 

 

While international travellers flock to Paris, locals are opting for staycations in other parts of France to evade anticipated crowds. Sojern points out that hotel bookings from Parisians traveling domestically have surged by 49% during the Olympics season, with cities like Lille, Nice, and Lyon emerging as favored destinations.

Sojern also suggests that in light of this heightened travel demand, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) have a unique opportunity to capitalise on renewed interest and entice travellers to explore local attractions and lesser-known regions. Adopting an ‘always-on’ marketing approach enables DMOs to maximise their budgets and engage with travelers at every stage of the planning cycle, contributing to sustainable tourism growth.

 

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