Ramadan: the new moon eclipses the sun on palaces in France
month of fasting and purification impacts the French hotel industry, particularly activity at luxury and upscale properties in Paris and on the French Riviera that are the predilection of Middle Eastern clientele.
observed since 2010, when the fast began in August, is not without consequence for the hotel industry as it causes Muslim clientele to stay home at that time of the year. The impact is significantly stronger on the performance of upscale and luxury hotels in Paris and on the French Riviera, which are accustomed to hosting this clientele with strong purchasing power.
The data gathered each year by MKG Hospitality clearly show that Middle Eastern tourists adapt theirtravel in France to the Muslim calendar. In the last four years revenue per available room at palaces in the capital and on the Riviera showed a downtrend as Ramadan drew near, corresponding to the departure and then absence of Middle Eastern clients. This phenomenon is the result of the drop in occupancy at the properties, followed by a drop in average daily rates approximately one week after the beginning of the fast. This drop in prices may be explained by the fact that well-to-do Muslim clientele give way to clientele with less buying power.
In 2013, for example, when Ramadan began on July 9, hotel indicators began to drop around the firstof the month only to regain their usual levels at the end of the fast at the beginning of August. On the other hand, activity at the end of the summer season fully benefited from the return of Middle Eastern clientele. This year, the rebound of activity is expected earlier than last year and should benefit French hoteliers, and especially upscale and luxury properties, from the beginning of the month of August, or from the end of the month of fasting on July 27.
Georges Panayotis, president and founder of MKG Group declares: "Middle Eastern clientele accountfor a high proportion of the clientele-mix at palaces, it is thus natural for their absence to be felt. The Ramadan calendar means that this year the usual July activity of palaces will be shifted to August." The palaces made no error: several properties currently under construction or being renovated, such as the Peninsula Paris and the Plaza Athénée, have scheduled to open August 1, just after the end of Ramadan.