As high seasons go, this is certainly a different one. With the Coronavirus pandemic in the media coverage it can make for confusing times on what safe steps to proceed with in daily life. Usually at this time of year in France, the French Riviera is buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix this month that would bring together an international list of people from around the world.
We do have our regular clientele base who tend to book their villa rental 6 months to even a year or two in advance, and right now we would also be in overdrive with last minute luxury villa requests for not only those events but also with people seeking to book a property for their holidays during the summer high season. Because of Covid-19, as soon as the government started confirming the virus information and restrictions in place we made a point of reaching out to our clientele immediately about their previously booked villas to inform them that their plans might be held off for this upcoming summer season. We found that some were wanting to keep their late summer reservation, and some clients were thinking it was best to postpone until summer 2021 which is totally understandable. Since we work direct to owner or with other local business partnerships, any refunds have been made in full and without issue.
The virus situation globally has been alarming, we knew immediately once the travel restrictions came into place in March this was going to affect all the businesses in France in some aspect including ours and we always want to abide by any government rules and regulations especially when it comes to the health and safety of our clients, owners and a business partners. Since March, President Marcon stated in another speech in April that now restrictions would slowly start to be lifted as of May 11th as long as virus numbers continue to decrease. The feeling right now is of optimism and it’s wonderful to see various businesses preparing to open next week with some beaches and ports also opening up again a few days later. Monaco has slowly lifted restrictions too as of May 4th with so far to date zero new cases of the Coronavirus detected.
With this news confirmed, in the past week or so we have noticed an increase in villa requests for vacations. With the borders still being closed, these requests have been in part from those living in France who at first will be allowed to travel within 100 kms from their home.
Many others though, feeling positive about the situation have been tentatively booking for late July into August along with September. The urge to travel again is even strong with those who for the first time are planning Autumn trips to places such as Provence which has also slowly been on in the increase the past few years.
As it stands, there are a small number of property owners who have already decreased their usual rate per week for a villa while others have stayed the same rate.
One thing we have discovered is for certain, if there is a particular location and villa you have always had in mind, now is the time to make a reasonable offer and we have no issues with negotiating on rates with owners on behalf of our clients.
We would also like to thank you for the daily social media messages, emails, calls and comments with how much people miss France and the beautiful French Riviera in particular. How some of your most treasured memories come from this country and how you cannot wait to visit again. This just fills us with so much excitement and love and we are truly grateful. It will be so wonderful to see everyone! Stay strong, stay safe.