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Post-Pandemic Tourism Boom in La Réunion

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Post-Pandemic Tourism Boom in La Réunion

Promising Economic Recovery with a Post-Pandemic Tourism Boom in La Réunion

The health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant repercussions on the global economy, and the tourism sector has not been spared. However, La Réunion Island seems to be experiencing a promising economic recovery with a tourism boom.

According to the Regional Tourism Observatory (ORT), tourist attendance from outside La Réunion almost doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year, with a growth rate of 97.5 %. Indeed in 2022, 495,473 foreign tourists were welcomed in La Réunion, a significant increase from the 250,811 tourists in 2021. These figures are still slightly lower than those recorded in 2019, before the pandemic, when the island had welcomed 535,000 tourists. Despite this, tourist revenues reached 416.6 million EUR in 2022, thus exceeding the 410 million EUR of 2019.

The French market remains the main source of foreign tourists, representing 82.7 % of the clientele, or 409,848 tourists. The Indian Ocean area, which includes neighboring countries such as Mauritius, Maldives, and Seychelles, saw a spectacular increase of nearly 200 % in its tourist attendance, with 51,935 tourists. Leisure customers, composed of travelers searching for change and discovery, represent 48 % of tourists, while affinity customers, who regularly return to the island, represent 42 %. It is also important to note that for 41.7 % of tourists, it was their first trip to La Réunion, which testifies to the growing attractiveness of the island.

These positive figures testify to the economic recovery of the tourism sector in La Réunion after a difficult period marked by the health crisis. Tourism professionals have shown resilience and have managed to preserve their businesses during this period. However, the challenge for 2023 and the coming years will be to maintain this positive trend in the long term.

La Réunion is also betting on local tourism, which is essential to the island’s tourist economy. In 2022, Réunion residents made 5.1 million stays, an increase of more than 400,000 compared to 2021. These stays generated 5.3 million commercial overnight stays and 9.5 million excursions. The total tourist revenue generated by the local clientele amounts to 1.35 billion EUR.

This rapid economic recovery and post-pandemic tourism boom are encouraging for La Réunion Island. Tourism sector players now wish to work to maintain this positive trend and diversify markets to ensure a solid future for Réunion tourism.

Mias Sylvia

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