Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, CEO of Viparis, announced that, on 1 September 2020, Viparis would reopen its doors to tradefairs, exhibitions, congresses and other major events. The venue will be making up for lost time with 300 of its events having been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Viparis is operator of nine major event venues in the Île-de-France region, including Paris-Expo Porte de Versailles and the Palais des Congrès at Porte Maillot.
“We will reopen our event sites in early September after six months of confinement,” Cerruti said.
Business tourism, Cerruti noted, accounted for almost half of the hotel nights in Paris and Viparis has more than 40 events already scheduled for September alone.
Examples of the events booked in for September include: The Palais des Congrès de Paris coming back with the summer universities of the Order of Chartered Accountants from 1-3 September and then hosting the 40th annual congress of the French Hematology Society 9-11 September. The national congress of the French Society of Anesthesia and Resuscitation (SFAR) for an estimated 6,000 participants, is booked for 24-26 September.
Paris Nord Villepinte will host Première Vision, a global event for professionals in the textile and fashion sector, 15-17 September, and Paris Expo Porte de Versailles will host Workspace, the workspaces fair, 1-3 September, with more exhibitions to follow during the month. Paris tourism barometer suggests European air traffic could drop 48% in 2020.
More evidence of a slow comeback is provided by the results of the first monthly overview from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau’s new tourism barometer. Although the survey shows some alarming recent statistics due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are signs of a weak recovery in interest, particularly from Chinese visitors.
The barometer indicators are designed to provide a real-time snapshot of the capital’s attractiveness, including both data on air traffic and the media impact of Paris around the globe.
The barometer also ranks the top 10 foreign markets searching for flights to the destination.
“At this time of crisis, more than ever, it is our priority to measure and monitor tourist behavioural trends. We must continuously build momentum and ensure we are able to constantly adapt and reinvent ourselves,” said Corinne Menegaux, managing director of the Paris CVB. “This is why, with our partner Mastercard, we wanted to produce this monthly barometer to gain a detailed understanding of what our visitors expect and to provide tourism actors with an effective management tool.”
The barometer figures for May 2020 reflected an estimated reduction in international tourism flows of 20% to 30% and a reduction in passenger numbers ranging from 35% to 48% in 2020 for European air passenger traffic. There was an uptick in flight searches in May compared to April, led by China (+62%), and then Russia (+39%), Germany (+35.6%) and Italy (+26%).
Over three-quarters (77%) of foreigners and 74% of French travellers envisage making a trip to a destination where they will feel safe, while terms and conditions for any cancellation, postponement and reimbursement of stays are essential criteria (for 87% of foreigners and 92% of French travellers), the survey found.
For those travelling outside their countries’ borders, France remains the leading destination for Europeans, favoured by 22% of those planning to travel abroad.
As for long-haul markets surveyed, subject to the reopening of borders, China demonstrates the strongest intention to travel to France in the next six months, for 57% surveyed (for the Golden Week period), compared to 23% for the United States.
Visitors from Southern Europe, such as Spain and Italy (38% each) express a real desire to come to Paris, while Western European markets are taking a more wait-and-see approach e.g. the UK and Switzerland (17% each).
Another initiative from Paris CVB is the ‘Caring Attitude’ Charter, which requires signatory establishments and partners to respect seven commitments, including implementing health measures, training employees or adapting services in order to respect physical distance.
August is seen as a key month: 18% of tourists surveyed are planning their stay in August, compared to 17% in September and 12% in July.