- Successful Rugby World Cup and 600,000 international visitors will be dwarfed by extra 3 million people flooding into ‘Games in the City’ for the Olympiad
- Forecasted 4 billion global TV audience means a well-executed Paris games could skyrocket France’s profile as a destination from 2025
- Sustainability a huge focus with Olympic village built to highest ethical standards and EUR1.4 billion spent cleaning the river Seine for swimming events
- Paris ranked at the top of Euromonitor’s Top 100 City destinations Index 2022
LONDON, UK – An extra three million people are expected in Paris for the Olympic Games in 2024 increasing tourism spending by up to EUR4 billion, reveals a Euromonitor International expert.
The highly successful Rugby Union World Cup which has just played out in Paris served as a dress rehearsal for next summer’s Olympics which will bring many opportunities but also challenges for the French tourism industry. With a forecasted 4 billion global television audience, the country will be front and centre in the worldwide spotlight.
A well-executed Paris 2024 games could skyrocket the profile of France, already at the top of Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Index for 2022, as a destination from 2025.
Alexander Göransson, Senior Consultant at Euromonitor International, in his report Paris 2024 Olympics Games: Challenges and Opportunities for French Tourism, said the Paris Games are expected to attract 15 million spectators, many locals and domestic day trippers, but forecasted up to 3 million additional visitors in Paris in 2024.
Alexander Göransson said that experience from previous Games shows that Olympic visitors spend more than regular visitors and that accommodation providers will be the main winners during the 17-day event.
“Short-term rentals will play a key role as the sector is more elastic in terms of capacity than hotels. As of April 2023, it was reported that 1,000 Parisian hosts were taking bookings on Airbnb for the weeks of the but this is expected to grow exponentially, while hosts are increasing their prices by a factor of three during the Olympic weeks. The Games will also provide a boost to transportation providers and consumer food outlets, who will be catering for both day trippers and overnight visitors.”
Hosting the Games will disrupt the tourism economy
Alexander Göransson explained that Paris is well-established as one of the world’s leading destinations with 15 million visitors expected in 2023. It will be going for a ‘Games in the city’ concept with key events near Paris’s most iconic sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Versailles Palace and the Champs-Élysées.
“Non-Olympic visitors will be avoiding these iconic sites, if they will have access to them at all. Museums and heritage sites will be negatively impacted as will organisers of guided walks and tours with their activities restricted due to street closures.”
City airports must find their wings
Alexander Göransson said Paris airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, had much to prove at the Olympics. “Airports will be busy and non-Olympic travellers are being advised to avoid them three days before the opening ceremony and after the closing ceremony.
“Arguably, Paris is the hub of the European high speed rail network, with connections to four European capitals - relieving pressure on Paris’s airports.”
Paris 2024 bid was secured with high sustainability credentials
In its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, Paris’s main selling points were heritage, prestige and its sustainability credentials. France ranks 11th in Euromonitor International’s Sustainable Travel Index 2023, where it is trending upwards.
Alexander Göransson said: “Paris is constructing an Athletes’ Olympic Village to the highest environmental and it will be within walking distance of the aquatics centre and athletics events at the Stade-de-France. Other Games venues are vastly spread out across Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France area. The organisers plan to overcome this with extensive use of helicopter transfers, flying in the face of its sustainability ambitions.
“Investing EUR1.4 billion in cleaning the river Seine to enable swimming events was to be one of the legacies of the Games.”
Glittering opportunity to cement City’s top status as a tourism destination
Paris is not the first city to face concerns about its readiness to host the Olympic Games. An event with 10,000 athletes and 10 million visitors will inevitably see some hiccups along the way but Olympic Games in the past have gone smoothly.
Alexander Göransson said: “The true benefits of a successful Paris 2024, watched by a massive global television audience, will be felt in subsequent years. Unlike during the Olympics itself, this will benefit the overall tourism economy and not just hospitality, with Euromonitor International expecting a steady increase in inbound visitors to France and its capital city from 2025.”
For further information see Euromonitor insights here.