In July, the hotel park islander it was only 59% occupied. A low figure professionals of the sector are mainly attributed to the high transportation cost and the competition of furniture of sightseeing. But more circumstantial causes certainly played a role.
The information was revealed by our colleagues from the newspaper the echoes in an article published a few days ago.
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In July, the Corsican hotel industry recorded one of the lowest occupancy rates in France. Only 59.1% of the available beds were occupied, compared to 73% on average at the national level. A score that places the island in penultimate position, just above the Midi-Pyrénées region (57.8%) but well behind the Paca region (80.8%) or Languedoc-Roussillon (75.1 %).
This statistic is all the more disappointing as it is part of a downward trend compared to 2019, the last financial year not affected by the Covid crisis. The mapping carried out by the economic newspaper reveals that the island is one of the territories that registers a decrease in the occupancy rate of between -3.6 and -5.4%, compared to only 2.8% a Nacional level.
“They told us big numbers for this summer but it’s not true, deplores Pierre Negretti, hotelier from Aregno-plage and regional president of the hotel branch of Umih (Union of hotel industries and trades). A lot of people could have come to Corsica, but it didn’t benefit everyone.”
“I did a comparative study…”
The causes invoked by professionals in the sector are known. The first of these is competition from other forms of hosting. “What has penalized us for several years is the development of seasonal rentals and non-market properties, says Jean-Christophe Barrau, manager of two hotels in the Restonica Valley. We couldn’t find the right balance. Today, in Corsica, the supply of hotel beds is less important than the accumulated number of accommodations in tourist accommodation and second homes. The ratio is around 45/55%.”
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Another element advanced by the operators, the cost of transport.
According to them, it would penalize the hotel sector by raising the price of Corsica too much. “There is already the problem of insularity, which forces travelers to take their car by boat or rent a car when they get off the plane, continues Jean-Christophe Barrau. But in addition to this, there is a constant increase in the price of the trip. I did a small comparative study with Sardinia, the Balearic Islands and Madeira. From Holland or Germany, the plane ticket to Corsica is always the most expensive.”
And the situation does not help. According to the echoes, the rates charged in the island hotel industry are 20.1% higher this year than in 2019. An increase that certainly remains below those observed in other regions (+34.7% in PACA) but that does not contribute to the attractiveness of the Destination Corsica. In the two structures that he operates, Jean-Christophe Barrau acknowledges having increased prices between 12 and 14% depending on the period.
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But he assures that this increase is only intended to compensate for an increase in expenses. “You should know that last March the wage scale for hotel trades was revised and a 20% increase in wages was decided, professional stands out. In addition to this, for attractiveness reasons, I no longer require my employees to work on a break. (with two separate shifts on the same day, editor’s note), which forced me to hire the equivalent of 4 full and part time. These are personnel costs that we are obliged to pass on. Above all because, in the restaurant part, we have no chance of raising prices too much because we are in competition with the other establishments in the micro-region.
“We are in the nails”
A subject on which Pierre Negretti wants to give a clear message. “In Corsica, hotels and restaurants charge normal prices, He insists. We are on the nails. We can’t go lower, otherwise we won’t be profitable anymore and we can’t go higher, otherwise we won’t be competitive anymore.”
It remains to be seen whether August’s figures will be better than July’s. According to Umih’s rep, it’s too early to tell: “August 7-15 is very busy, but beyond that we have no visibility. It seems that from the 21st the booking rate goes down, but as more and more people book at the last minute, we don’t we can still say.”
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