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Looking back on 2016

The French Riviera still attracts tourism despite the tragedy of 14th July 2016If 2016 was a difficult year for the Côte d'Azur, fears that the tourism industry would be shattered by the tragic events of 14th July have been proved largely unfounded. With a strong advertising campaign and a bolstered international outlook, 2017 is looking positive for our adopted region.

French Riviera 

The terrorist attack in Nice, which left 86 people dead, cast a shadow over the region in 2016 and has been blamed for a 10% drop in tourism. But our wonderful sunshine appeared to make a break through the clouds in the autumn as a targeted advertising campaign from the Côte d'Azur France initiative helped bring the industry back up in the latter part of the year.

Overall, the number of overnight stays in the French Riviera and Monaco fell by 3.4%. Almost 11 million total visitors were counted and 5 million hotel or holiday residence stays were recorded – the first time since 2001 that the number has passed the 5 million-mark – but visits proved to be much shorter than the previous year.

Interestingly, the number of stays in private accommodation using companies such as Airbnb nearly doubled and claimed a 5% share of the market. The largest portions of foreign visitors are the British and Irish (16%), Italians (12%), North Americans (11%), Germans (8%) and Scandinavians (7%). The number of international visitors actually increased, while across the rest of France it fell by 2%.

Hotel capacity was below 60% on average, with four and five-star properties performing the strongest at 60% (up 2% on 2015). It was the first time on record that 47% of all hotel-staying visitors elected for a hotel in these upper tiers. Campsite vacations, however, fell by 10%.

Per-person expenditure during their time in the French Riviera was estimated to be 685 euros; a decline of 8% with tourists typically spending 95 euros per day, per head. Business traveller expenditure, on the other hand, rose by 9%.


While its neighbour - the Côte d’Azur - reported a slight decrease in 2016, Liguria has reason to celebrate at the end of last year as tourism increased by 4.35%. over 4.5 million people vacationed in the italian region with the best performers being alassio (900,000 visitors), Diano Marina (820,000 visitors up 3%) and Finale Ligure with an impressive 6.6.% increase in the number of tourists to 800,000 people. Savona is among those experiencing a flourish in tourism thanks to the resort’s growing popularity with climbers and mountain bike riders from all over the world.


Elsa Carpenter