The word came up several times on the table. Marc Thépot, President of the Marseille Tourist Office and Laurent Lhardit, Deputy for the Economy and Sustainable Tourism, have agreed on the term of “peaceful tourism” to qualify the Marseille summer during a press conference on September 15 at the Palais de la Bourse. But the summer season was also marked by rising prices and insecurity in the city.
Hotels were 79% occupied this summer. This occupancy rate remains positive for professionals in the sector although it is stagnating compared to 2021. On the other hand, the length of stay has increased. Tourists stay four to five dayson average in Marseilles, when they stayed less than three days. “It’s no longer a town you pass through, you stop there! » launches Maxime Tissot, the director ofMarseille Tourist Officeusing the expression of Albert Londres in his book Marseille, Porte du Sud. ” Pass ! The word suits the city. We are going to Lyon, to Nice. We “go” to Marseille” wrote the famous journalist.
Tourists stopped to visit the Cosquer Méditerranée site (ex-Villa Méditerranée) where we discover the replica of the prehistoric cave discovered by the diver Henri Cosquer. Since its opening on June 3, the site has received more than 300,000 visitors, mainly from the South region (70%). Its director, Frédéric Prades, salutes the attraction of the site for the inhabitants of the territory, he who wanted in priority “find the support of the people of Marseilles. »
More international tourists
As for Marseille Provence Airport, it is rather international tourists who have boosted the figures which reach two million passengers spread over July and August, i.e. the level before the covid crisis.“International flights accounted for 70% of traffic compared to 28% for domestic flights” Sales and Marketing Director Julien Boulay
In addition, the Irish (+44%), the Swiss (+102%) and the Canadians (+50%) were more numerous in the Marseille city. The opening of new airways such as Transavia – between Canada and Marseilles – explains this trend according to the airport manager. The line will be extended this winter until January 10, 2023, “the goal being to annualize the line”adds Maxime Tissot.
In the same direction, Julien Fabre, the president of the Grandes halles du Vieux-Port attests to a better attendance of French and foreign tourists, rather than Marseilles. “We still have trouble meeting the Marseille public, but we were full all summer”, says the leader. Nevertheless, the management has reinforced its safety team on the Estienne d’Orves course (1er) for reassure customers.
Rising prices, insecurity, unsanitary…
The president of the association of Marseille Center traders, Guillaume Sicard, makes the same observation. He deplores the growing insecurity in the city center, as well as the waste that has accumulated in the shopping streets. A situation which had caused tensions between the garbage collectors of the Metropolis and the traders around the sorting of waste.
In addition, Maxime Tissot is sounding the alarm on the rise in prices in the hotel and transport sectors, in Marseille and in France. Its president, Marc Thépot, as manager of several hotels, abounds. “There is an average increase of 8.5% in hotel room prices and 30% compared to 2019. But that doesn’t make sense! He is a short-sighted opportunist. »
And tourism after?
To lower prices, Laurent Lhardit wants to advocate “tourism smoothed over the whole year. » In January 2023, the elected official will have all the cards in hand to ensure this since the city of Marseille will recover tourism competence in its lap at the end of the metropolitan reform included in the 3DS law. The municipality assures that the inhabitants will be involved in decision-making in terms of tourism.
However, the city remains firm on the future of cruises. Stopovers by cruise passengers will have to decrease in order to avoid overcrowding and air pollution in the city. Despite discussions still “tense » with the Cruise Club,Laurent Lhardit welcomes the ecological positions taken by the municipality. He observes that “the experimentation of access restrictions to the creeks (decided by the Calanques National Park in the creek of Sugiton, Ed) is a complete success! »
Useful links :
> Review of the summer season: professionals very satisfied
> Cycling tourism: “Respect nature and have a great time” (Tous en biclou)
> Eco-tourism: regional natural parks want to better manage flows
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Tourism: a good summer season in Marseille despite persistent tensions – Gomet’
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