Latest Bill of Health on Regional Tourism : More of the Same

The Agence de Développement Touristique des Pyrénées-Orientales predicts a “copy-and-paste” of last year. In fact, the agency believes the 2021 tourism year should be very similar to 2020, with no good or bad surprises.

A successful season across the P-O will depend on a number of closely-linked factors, including learning from our experiences of 2020, vaccine passports, the reopening of the borders and the appetite for travel.

Catalan boat in Colioure


Pierre Anglade and Amandine Brea, trend analysists in charge of agency’s observatory, foresee a summer visitor flow equivalent to that of 2020. One factor remains unknown: will there be more French people and less foreigners, or more foreigners and less French people?

This “copy-and-paste” scenario was identified as the most likely of three others, which forecast an increase in frequentation, a decrease in frequentation and a paralysis due to an aggravation of the pandemic crisis.

The middle-of-the-road scenario that has been chosen, making 2021 a simple replica of 2020, would mean a 22% drop in annual tourist over-night stays, rising to a 43% drop in foreign over-night stays. Nevertheless, French visitors “were present during the 2020 summer season”.

For the current year, at the time of the review, the period between mid-March and the end of May “will undoubtedly be better than the same period in 2019”.

December will be decisive, as the activity of the ski resorts (under-performing this winter season 2020-2021) will influence the overall figures for the year, providing an increase or a decrease, subject to a suitable snow cover.

The major factor identified by the ADT 66 as crucial is that of quantity, meaning the number of tourist overnight stays, and not the average amount spent by the tourists.

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