A Reflection of Summer 2023
In one word - busy.
Well, actually, since the Cote d’Azur broke tourism records again this year so to say it was busy is a definite understatement.
It was expected that summer 2022 would be hectic due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions being lifted and people desiring to get out and live again, but it was still astonishing to witness on every level how many visitors came to the region.
In the past, a summer season in the region would start around the end of April until the end of September after the Monaco Yacht Show which is usually also an indicator that the season has ended. What is quite noticeable now is people are starting their holidays sooner around the middle or end of March, or choosing to arrive in September or even as late as the end of October.
Local news reports indicated back in early April that visitor hotspots like Eze Village were receiving 1000+ visitors a day bringing the total to 5000+ over their normal amount which just continued to climb in numbers as summer approached. To this point, the municipality is considering measures to regulate the influx of tourists.
From our business side, clients wanting to rent a vacation property had begun booking their villa stay back in late 2022, (which was reminiscent of before COVID-19), and for numerous reasons such as to confirm their accommodation during the prime of the season, better rates, more choice in properties, and even to avoid the crowds in certain locations.
This also extended to those searching for a property to buy but off-peak periods in the region, simply because they wanted to experience what life might be like here during a quieter part of the year when it is more back to the locals, the range of property choices, and when an agent has more availability away from the height of the season so there is less of a rush for all parties involved. So clients were arriving during the winter months and springtime.
Currently, this Autumn, owners of villa rentals have decided to keep their properties open for guests longer simply because the weather is still summer-like but mainly because the demand is still there. Typically after summer is when people either arrive for their first time or return after spending a summer vacation here to look for a property to buy as the rush of summer is over so viewings can be done at a calmer pace.
There has always been an unspoken secret with the locals which suggested that September is also a great time to enjoy the region as the weather is still perfect for swimming, prices are slightly lower, heat waves are rare, and overall the main flux of visitors are have left having to get their kids back in school and traditionally more people are back at work. That secret is no more if the past two months of September are any indication. One could tell a slight decrease in the number of tourists during that month, but not by much. Hotels and restaurants were still booked up, beaches were full, and nightlife was in full swing as with everything else, with the mood being that of the height of summer and this has now extended into October to a large extent. There are regional hotels that usually close for the winter season that have decided to stay open an extra month longer with rates only slightly decreasing and the same goes for Airbnb rentals. Some locals seem a bit surprised by the activity but as with the roar of summer here, it’s best to evolve with it all.
So my advice is this, if you are considering booking a villa for a holiday, the sooner you do it, the better as you can possibly get the property you want at a great rate (possibly even discounted if the stay is long enough), and in the location you desire to avoid areas and properties that tend to be completely booked out early.
Before the pandemic hit, typically people would book a villa rental for a week or two at the most. Now people are booking anywhere from one month to three or even six months, just so they know they have a property they love and can use as as a base to come and go from during the summer months. Don’t let this dissuade you though, rentals are still available on a weekly basis, it’s just best to book them early, especially if you have a tight budget.
If you are looking for a property to possibly buy, anytime before or after July or August is usually the best, this way you won’t feel rushed with the pace here in summer, also it is more pleasant when you can look at a property when there isn’t a potential heat wave taking place, agents, and owners will also have more time to focus on you and what you want. Keep in mind, that August is also the month when most people in France take that whole month off for their yearly holiday, so that can restrict some access. But as they say here, things just seem to have a way of working out, and for ourselves, we have a resourceful way of making things happen.
With social media and the plethora of information out there, travelers have become more knowledgeable about what is going to work for them in terms of a vacation or business trip. It’s always a pleasure to work with those who educate themselves about this beautiful part of France and to help guide them more on how they can get the best out of their trip.
Let’s get planning for 2024!