What does these five facts tell you?
- 46% of hotels on the French Riviera are 4* or 5*
- Business travel accounts for one quarter of all regional tourism spend
- An average of 200,000 travellers stay on the Cote d’Azur every day (from 650,000 in mid-August to 50,000 in the depths of winter)
- The Palais de la Mediterranée on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais charges €449 for a small double room in high summer. Suites cost four times as much.
- The region’s 15 casinos made a gross profit of €360 million last year. That’s €24 million per gambling den.
These facts tell me that the French Riviera welcomes millions of discerning visitors who are willing to spend thousands of Euros on high quality accommodation.
After years of trial and error renting my two bedroom apartment in Nice (first independently, later with Pebbles holiday rental agency) I’ve discovered what seems obvious now. The more I spend making my place look like a boutique hotel, the more bookings, reviews and repeat custom I get. And the more money I make.
One term that economists love is amortisation. It’s the declining price per use of a product during its lifetime.
I used amortisation to justify buying a €400 iPad for our guests. After three years of usage it’s cost me €8.50 per punter.
My guests love it. It’s pre-loaded with classic French movies (A Good Year, French Kiss) and terrible games (Angry Birds among them). More importantly, I believe that using the word ‘iPad’ in my sales pitch has enabled me to add €100 onto my weekly rental price.
The ability for finely decorated places to charge far more than poorly decorated places hit home when I was in St Tropez a few years back.
I was staying in the Hotel Lou Cagnard. My old boss was staying in the Hotel Pastis. The hotel room sizes are the same. The hotel location is the same. Both hotels offer parking and free WiFi. But the former charges €149 per double room in high season, while the latter charges €750 per double room.
Why? The ability to charge far more all about the presentation. Look at both hotel websites if you don’t believe me.
Visitors to the French Riviera are both wealthy and discerning. And they’re willing to pay for quality. Understood?