The event is undoubtedly at least as much awaited by fans of the oval ball as by tourism professionals. There Rugby World Cup starts in a few days in France, on September 8, – with the France-New Zealand clash at the Stade de France – and, already, the fever takes hold of hotel prices, in some of the ten host cities of Lille, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Saint-Etienne, Nantes, Paris and Saint-Denis.
“In Lille, it’s spectacular”, points out Eva Fouquet, vice-president of Kayak France, the world’s number one travel search engine: “The price of a room for two people increases on average by 77%, to 171 euros [contre 96 euros l’an dernier] », she adds, while many Britons are expected in the city. In Marseille, which hosts six matches, it will cost an average of 181 euros instead of 114 euros last year, an increase of 59%.
“In view of these figures, I can only advise hoteliers to moderate their prices”, insists Laurent Lhardit, in charge of sustainable tourism in the city. He clarified, however, that there is no shortage of accommodation, due to the 11,000 short-term rental offers. Moreover, “many travelers stay with friends or family”, he adds.
In Paris, not all of the hotels in the Accor group have been filled to date: “Probably because the rugby clientele goes more to the locals”, notes for his part Sébastien Bazin, the president of the hotel group who notes that short-term rental platforms have put on the market “more offers than usual”. This summer, however, hotel prices had already jumped by more than 40% since 2019 in the capital.
Half of the tickets sold abroad
Foreign tourists are expected in large numbers. They should be nearly 600,000, according to estimates by Atout France, France’s tourism development agency. Of all the tickets sold, half went to this international clientele, a quarter of which came from the British Isles – English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish – then other European countries and more distant like Oceania.
“If we take the average of all the tourists, they will stay for a fortnight, attend two or three matches and spend 300 euros a day”estimates Jacques Rivoal, president of the organizing committee of the Rugby France 2023 World Cup. twice as long as the South Africans, the defending champions, with larger budgets.
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