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Is there a pre-summer holiday surge of visitors


Val_2

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There seems to be a lot of french people on holidays here at the moment,not families with kids because the schools have not broken up yet but middle aged/retired types from other depts and also other countries especially the UK. I do wonder if its because of the economic problems at the moment and attractive out of season charges for accomodation and that we shall see a lack of visitors for July and August because people are worried transport costs are going to be prohibitive to holiday travel either by car or plane. I know from our tourist office that bookings are low this year already so only a heatwave might bring folks out.
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Perhaps middle aged retired types are in a better position to weather the financial storms, or because they have seen it before are taking a longer view ?

Plus as you say there are good pre - season deals to be had.....

A chap I know is going to Spain, staying in a mix of Paradors and Hotels and there are only two nights that he is paying full rate on, and that is in July.

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Lets not forget the Olympics this year and the price of petrol in other EU countries.

I was chatting to my Dutch neighbour this morning and he told me that the supermarket (cheap) petrol is now 1.67€ a ltr in Holland. His Gite business is suffering because he only rents to the Dutch (doh) and their guests can't afford the petrol to drive all the way down here. He also told be that because of fuel prices many Dutch are staying at home this summer and are going to watch the Olympics on TV. Apparently the sale of TVs in Holland is up 60% at present as many are buying new TVs to watch it on. I wonder how many other nationalities are doing the same?

We don't have so many booking in August but we have a few weddings in the garden (nice little earner, weddings that is) which make up for it. So far, after all the initial worry on bookings at the end of the month we will have had our second best year so far. Having said that the proof, as I said elsewhere a while ago, is when you tot it all up at the end of the year and we have a way to go before we get there. Anything could happen, you never know [;-)]

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[quote user="Quillan"]

His Gite business is suffering because he only rents to the Dutch (doh) and their guests can't afford the petrol to drive all the way down here. He also told be that because of fuel prices many Dutch are staying at home this summer and are going to watch the Olympics on TV.

[/quote]

Doesn't surprise me.  Can't afford the petrol?  Cobblers. The Dutch are notoriously tight-fisted on holiday.  They spend less per head on holidays than any of the other western European countries.  They don't prefer camping just 'cos it's fun.

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[quote user="cassis"][quote user="Quillan"]

His Gite business is suffering because he only rents to the Dutch (doh) and their guests can't afford the petrol to drive all the way down here. He also told be that because of fuel prices many Dutch are staying at home this summer and are going to watch the Olympics on TV.

[/quote]

Doesn't surprise me.  Can't afford the petrol?  Cobblers. The Dutch are notoriously tight-fisted on holiday.  They spend less per head on holidays than any of the other western European countries.  They don't prefer camping just 'cos it's fun.
[/quote]

Cassis, you mean they aren't just doing a bit of family bonding when I see them with their little ones all carrying their own little sleeping-bags and dad carring a huge tent and mum carrying cooking utensils?

I really thought it was a charming picture of happy and united family life such as we don't get in the UK anymore.

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[quote user="Val_2"]There seems to be a lot of french people on holidays here at the moment,not families with kids because the schools have not broken up yet but middle aged/retired types from other depts and also other countries especially the UK. I do wonder if its because of the economic problems at the moment and attractive out of season charges for accomodation and that we shall see a lack of visitors for July and August because people are worried transport costs are going to be prohibitive to holiday travel either by car or plane. I know from our tourist office that bookings are low this year already so only a heatwave might bring folks out.[/quote]

There are a lot of Brits around at the moment because it's half term in the UK, families and couples (teachers).

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With the European football championships followed by the Olympics this summer, there is bound to be some impact on travel patterns.

Also economists are predicting an appreciable reduction in holidaymakers who usually drive to their holiday destnation in Europe, because of escalating fuel prices and indeed shortages.  

The other unknown factor is the weather, as if as some weather forecasters predict we are in for a wetter than usual summer, this will only further encourage the stay at home option.

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[quote user="cassis"][quote user="Quillan"]

His Gite business is suffering because he only rents to the Dutch (doh) and their guests can't afford the petrol to drive all the way down here. He also told be that because of fuel prices many Dutch are staying at home this summer and are going to watch the Olympics on TV.

[/quote]

Doesn't surprise me.  Can't afford the petrol?  Cobblers. The Dutch are notoriously tight-fisted on holiday.  They spend less per head on holidays than any of the other western European countries.  They don't prefer camping just 'cos it's fun.

[/quote]  

Ever thought you might be just a "tad" cynical Soz?  [:P]

Talking of Dutch campers (which we weren't), has anyone else noticed how they closely group (almost huddle) together when on a campsite? even an almost empty site, its weird. Don't get me wrong, I really like the Dutch but its pretty strange behaviour - at least to me. I try to get as far away from people as possible, especially Brits with brats.

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Cynical?  Moi?  You're surely confusing me with someone else, old bean. 

There's no shortage of enquiries this year, regardless of the petrol price.  Why, this one just popped into my junk box a minute ago:

[quote]Dear sir/Madam,
My name is Dr Lucas James of Berkley Consulting

Agency. 80

Strand,London wc2R 0RL,England.I want to make a

reservation  for

some Christian delegates numbering 5

persons.

         They will be coming for a seminar/conference

in your city

Check in  date........24 JULY  2008
Check  out

date.......8 August 2008

Number of Nights......14 Nights
Rooms... 5 single

rooms or apartment that will accommodate 5 persons

Total cost of

accommodation for the 14 nights including tax and

breakfast if there is

any.

Get

back to me with the   total cost.....

Regards[/quote]

See - business is booming here.  PLUS I've won an Internet lottery.

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We visited the Cite Europe at Calais last night (I know we certainly know how to live it up!!) to meet friends over for the evening from Kent - the shopping centre was so quiet - we could not believe that it was UK half term - usually its heaving - I think the poor pound is certainly affecting the visitors - prices up in France as well as the UK and also poor rate of exchange.

Suey

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[quote user="powerdesal"]
Talking of Dutch campers (which we weren't), has anyone else noticed how they closely group (almost huddle) together when on a campsite? even an almost empty site, its weird.
[/quote]

Not much different from the Brits then [;-)]

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What I forgot to mention earlier is that the chap who was telling us about his discounts was initially discussing what good deals you get once you are over 60 years old, so I think the discounts were a 'deal' but when I asked he said they were not restricted to 'off season' as you might expect.

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There's a very large Dutch-owned campsite not far from the village.

The campers are Dutch, they seldom patronise the local shops and the owners have a fortnightly lorry delivery of "familiar" goods from Holland.

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My very subjective opinion, is that things are a lot quieter this year so far.

With the public holidays in May, there was a bit of a surge, but the number of foreign and out-of-departement plates has seemed low.  Maybe there's loads of people down here, but they're just laying low with the lousy weather (but I doubt it).

I feel for the local traders: the restaurants and bars are empty: it's lost revenue that you never recoup. There's still time, but I suspect that the old adage will apply: the best and better will get by, the average and poor will suffer.

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The holiday trends in the UK are changing not only due to the strong Euro and the high fuel costs, but also  many people have given up flying due to all the additional costs and the hassle of restricted security regulations. This situation has been highlighted by airlines cancelling unprofitable routes, only yesterday American Airlines announced the cancellation of all flights from Stansted to the USA and three other US Airlines operating out of the UK going bust in the last few weeks.

The most interesting change has been the Cruise operators who make a great play with success of the no flying, no restriction cruises from  the UK ports. These are operating from Ports all around the UK and this without doubt it is where the future growth of the cruising industry lies. I do fear that in the current climate that the number people travelling from the UK to France for holidays will be greatly reduced and the ongoing effect may well be seen this autumn when the likes of Ryanair, Flybe, Easyjet, etc permanently close some routes to both France and other EU countries.

I feel that anyone operating in the French hospitality industry will need to be thinking on their feet to maintain high occupancy over the next few years as the current problems are here for the time being.  I hope I am proved wrong but sadly current trends are not very positive.

Baz

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