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112 LEGGETTFRANCE.COM

Leggett has seen a surge in people looking to

buy hotels in France - indeed we have created

a department specialising in this sector

to Paris after Brexit, for example,

will not only bring 200 jobs

to the French capital, but also

40,000 hotel nights a year. Looking ahead, the Olympics in 2024

are set to lead to a building

boom which will include hotels.

The bounce back is by no

means confined to Paris. Demand for

hotels is increasing

across the country. The resilience

of the hotel sector is due

to strength and variety of both

offer and demand. Demand

comes from a wide range of segments -

domestic and foreign,

luxury and budget, business and

leisure.

The key to France's attractiveness

as a destination is its

cities, which are in the top 25

worldwide for their "work and

play" qualities. Places like Lyon,

Lille, Bordeaux, Marseille and

Nantes are good destinations

for holidays and leisure but also

support a strong business ecosystem. They

are not just weekend destinations and they

are

not business cities that empty

at weekends. They are 7 days

a week trading cities that mix

business and pleasure and truly offer

the best of both worlds.

There are concerns that outside

Paris hotel supply is not keeping

up with demand - experts say

there are not enough new hotels

being built or existing ones being refurbished.

So it would seem a good

time to put money into the

sector as a long-term secure investment.

The Chinese certainly

think so: Jin Jiang International,

listed in Hong Kong but owned

by the city of Shanghai, acquired

Groupe du Louvre and has become

the largest shareholder in

French hotel group Accor, in the

process becoming the world's

fifth-largest hotel group. The

Chinese are not just investing in

a booming sector, but also seeking to cater for

the growing number of

Chinese tourists coming

to Europe. A staggering 31 million are

expected by 2025.

To foreign investors, France

offers diversification, safe euro-denominated

assets, a country in

a phase of political renewal and economic

renaissance.

The same characteristics should

appeal to domestic investors

too.

T

HE HOTEL SECTOR IS

booming in France

and prospects for the

rest of 2018 are extremely

positive. Tourism, which

generates over 7%

of France's national income, is

growing. The government expects 100m visitors

a year by

2020, up from 89 million in

2017 and 83 million in 2016.

Foreign tourists, in particular,

who had stayed away after the

terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015

and in Nice in 2016, have returned.

Across the country, hotel

occupancy rates have risen to

68.2% in 2017, the highest level for

nine years, and revenue

per room has also increased

by 4.5 %. Paris, which suffered

the most from the fall in tourist

numbers after the attacks, has

bounced back. Occupancy rates

have increased by 6% in 2017.

The city has 1,560 hotels open

and 80 in the pipeline. This year,

seven brand new luxury hotels

will open and six will have been

refurbished, appealing to both

business and tourism sectors.

The transfer of the European

Banking Authority from London

LOOKING TO

BUY A HOTEL

IN FRANCE ?

JOIN THE QUEUE !

Graham Downie

has 30 years

experience of

the international

property

market

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LEGGETT MAGAZINE

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