Measuring the’impact of the health crisis on tourism
The health crisis affects all economic sectors. Tourism is at the top of the list of activities to have suffered the most from the health crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19. According to the first-half results of the Paris Île-de-France Regional Tourism Committee, Paris recorded 14.3 million fewer tourists in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019.
What is the impact of Covid-19 on tourism in Paris ?
Although this summer it was possible to discover Paris with your family on board of a boat, the’The tourist sector has been strongly impacted by the health crisis of the Coronavirus Covid-19, which has made it impossible to travel by bus, to stroll along the main boulevards and to visit the Louvre while masked. The figures speak for themselves. During this period, the shutdown of the activity has left a loss of revenue of 6.4 billion euros: – 1.8 billion for French tourists and – 4.6 billion for international tourists.
Cancelled flights, closed borders, France confined from mid-March to mid-May… the capital has lost its tourists, taking with them the cash flow of tourism professionals. When questioned by the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Tourism Committee, they deplored the fact that summer business had slowed down or even come to a complete halt. The hotel sector is one of the main sectors to have been affected by the drop in activity. In the first half of the year, the Paris Region Tourism Committee recorded the following data:
- Hotels reported -61% of overnight stays booked compared to the 1st half of 2019.
- Furnished accommodation and seasonal rentals had lost 47% of bookings compared to the first half of 2019.
Decline in tourism in Paris: what about the cultural sector ?
With 9.4 million tourists visiting the capital and its region, compared with 23.7 million in the first half of last year, the Paris Region has seen a significant increase in the number of visitors’last year, the cultural sector is also suffering the collateral damage of the Covid-19 health crisis. Still according to the figures of the Regional Committee of Tourism Paris Île-de-France, the Louvre Museum lost 64% of its visitors, the City of Science and Industry 68% and the National Museum of Natural History 66%. With 93% of visitors coming from France and the Paris region, museums and monuments in the Paris Region were neglected by international visitors. “A few local international customers (Germans, Dutch, British) are also contributing to this timid recovery in tourist numbers at our destination,” explains the Paris Region Tourism Committee.
What are the aids for tourism professionals ?
While Parisians enjoy their city without its usual crowds, industry professionals mourn the millions of tourists who have deserted the streets of the capital. Bars are fluctuating between opening and closing, restaurants are no longer selling out, and bookstores on the banks of the Seine are playing for their survival. To help professionals in the tourism sector, several aids have been deployed:
- Partial unemployment: partial activity, implemented during the spring 2020 lockdown, will continue until the end of the year. A company in the tourism sector can apply for a partial unemployment allowance in the event that it is affected by the orders providing for a closure or when it notes a decline in activity.
- Exemption and assistance in the payment of employers’ social security contributions: the exemption from social security contributions applies to very small businesses and small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism and tourism sector’cultural events. This exemption concerns in particular the contributions and fees relating to social insurance, work accidents and occupational diseases, unemployment insurance and the national housing assistance fund.
Tourism sector: who can claim the solidarity fund ?
The solidarity fund helps businesses, including those in the tourism sector, during this period of health crisis. “All companies with less than 50 employees are eligible for the solidarity fund. […] If they are administratively closed or if they belong to the S1 and S1 bis sectors (culture, tourism, sport, events), they benefit from an exemption from the tax on the cost of their activities’10,000 per month,” the government said in a statement’an interdepartmental press conference on October 29, on the eve of the second lockdown. Within the framework of the solidarity fund, more than 210 million euros have been granted to companies of the tourism sector in Ile-de-France during the first semester.
“In the short and medium term, the outlook is uncertain and depends on the health of your family’evolution of the’epidemic in France and around the world,” says the Paris Region Tourism Committee. While airline bookings are dropping by more than 80% compared to the same period of the year, there is no doubt that this is an important factor’last year and France has entered its second containment, the fall figures may also reflect a timid recovery in the second half.