Mountain Regions in France See Summer Tourism Boost
18th August 2021
Last modified on August 30th, 2021
Large numbers of French people are opting against travelling abroad and taking a holiday in their own country. The Alps and the Pyrenees are proving to be particularly popular.
Mountain regions are among the winners, with people looking for a break away from the crowds.
“The three winners are the coast, the mountains and the countryside. The big losers are urban areas, even if they have progressed slightly compared to last year,” said Christophe Marchais, Deputy Managing Director of ADN Tourisme, a federation of local tourist boards, to The Local.
“Activities which continue to be very popular, even compared to last year, are everything related to hiking and bicycle touring. Sellers of hiking equipment like shoes have been besieged with demand,” he added.
Initial figures from the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts show that holiday accommodation occupancy rates were up by 9% across France’s mountain ranges in July compared to last year.
Occupancy rose by 24% in the Pyrenees.
In the Isère département in south-eastern France, 3 million overnight stays were booked for July.
That’s 6% more than last year and just 7% down compared from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
However different resorts have had different experiences.
Morzine is popular with the British in the summer and has been impacted by the lower levels of tourists from the UK
“After a quieter than usual July, where we felt the lack of British visitors, August has been really busy,” said Sarah Burdon from the Morzine Tourist Office.
“Lots of French families are coming to enjoy the mountains. The wide open spaces and variety of activities to do are appealing to many holiday makers.
“Bookings are also picking up for winter as confidence seems to be growing and skiers are looking forward to getting back on the slopes.”
Bookings from UK tourists are still way down on pre-pandemic levels due to changing travel restrictions across the summer.
France has moved off the UK’s Amber Plus list and is now on the Amber list.
The UK is currently on the French amber list with different rules for those fully vaccinated and those not.
Travellers who are fully vaccinated can travel freely with no need to have a test beforehand and don’t need to self-isolate.
There’s a requirement to complete a sworn statement that you don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus or been in contact with confirmed cases in the previous two weeks.
You will also have to have proof of vaccination.
Anyone in the UK who is not fully vaccinated can travel to France only for essential reasons and must follow strict rules, including testing and self-isolation for 7 days after arrival.
British visitors to France have been warned that they will need a vaccination certificate or produce a negative Covid-19 test to visit restaurants, cafes, museums, some public transport and other venues.
It is also required for hospital appointments.
“You need to demonstrate your Covid-19 status including vaccination status, negative test or proof of recent recovery, to access events or spaces with over 50 people attending,” said the UK Foreign Office in a statement.
Fellow Europeans are also heading to France
The European digital health pass that was introduced on July 1st has made it easier for fully vaccinated EU residents to travel around Europe.