Fortunately, vanished already are the memories of the shock to the tourism sector worldwide due to Covid, of which Monaco was not in the past immune. From early 2022 the optimism from the past, from the glory days of 2019 has steadily returned.
The Principality’s tourist and business venues have evidently been flourishing in 2023; we have emerged from a crowded summer and a packed schedule for the autumn is imminent.
How quickly we turn from famine to feast and attention turns to measuring all aspects of this new blossoming that could well attest to a boom when all the figures come in.
The first good measures of the strength of the tourism sector arrive as the summer season has drawn to a close and leading the reviews is Monaco’s Tourism and Convention Bureau (DTC).
We look to the DTC to shed light on various aspects including hotel occupancy rates and the primary nationalities represented. Let’s look to their reports and what Guy Antognelli who is the leader of the Tourism and Convention Bureau also reveals across the press.
No surprise that there is corroboration that the summer of 2023 has been quite a success story. July boasted an impressive hotel percentage occupancy rate in the mid 70s and in the month of August occupancy still held above 70%.
Even if all the statistics didn’t quite reach the pre-Covid levels of 2019, that’s a far cry from previous years. Compared to the past crash in annual occupancy rates you can see the current strong improvement and the continuing trend: The annual occupancy rate was 64% in 2019, crashed by more than half to 27% in 2020, and in 2021, it was 39%.
So when you are back to percentage summer occupancy in the 70s there is a lot to be cheerful about.
The International Surge
So, where are these tourists hailing from? Europe has always been a mainstay and the powerful engine of the Principality’s tourism, but the United States is now back in force. Not to mention that due to the Principality’s efforts at reaching out there is a more diverse international flavour to the numbers.
The top three summer nationalities, consistent throughout the year, are reported as France, the United States, and the United Kingdom with Italy claiming the fourth spot.
Yet there is a notable surge in non-European visitors reported … particularly a substantial increase from the Middle East.
Asians are more and more visible including the Japanese but Chinese tourism levels have yet to rebound to historic peaks. That may speak more to specific challenges within China itself. But there are plenty of positive notes on the other Asians including Australians who have flocked to Monaco in significant numbers. All indications are that this strength in diversity of international interest in Monaco is set to continue. The Principality’s efforts to reach out internationally are paying off.
Watch out for a potential boom this autumn in business tourism. There are so many high-profile gatherings lined up with fully booked attendance. Records for more participants than in previous editions may indeed start to be broken in late 2023 and there are reports of a build-up in demand already for 2024, 2025, and 2026.
The Monaco Yacht Show, the Security Symposium, Luxe Pack, and Sportel are all high-profile gatherings with fully booked attendance attesting to the resurgence in business tourism.
The Principality’s role as a hub for corporate conferences and seminars is evidently a strong key driver of the current boom.