Paris hotels hiking prices to over $1k on Olympics 2024 opening night

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



It’s 2024, and that means the Olympics are back. While the world’s elite athletes ramp up their training ahead of the event in Paris, hotels are also preparing—by hiking up room prices to astronomical levels. 

Three- and four-star hotels in Paris have tripled prices on the night of the Olympics opening ceremony on July 26, consumer interest group UFC-Que Choisir found in a report published late December. 

UFC polled 80 hotels in total and found that prices for the night of July 26 are €1,033 ($1,128) on average—that’s up 226% from the fares two weeks earlier for July 12 to July 13. 

“In view of the Paris Olympics next summer, local hoteliers are not going in with the back of the spoon. They have literally skyrocketed their prices,” UFC said.

Despite prices running high, hotels were seeing strong demand. Seven months ahead of the Olympics, half of the hotels contacted by the French group said they were fully booked while 30% of them had a minimum two-night requirement for bookings. 

With about 15 million spectators expected to come to the capital of France—a city with a population of just above two million—accommodation will be a hot commodity this summer.

Short-stay rental company Airbnb urged Parisians to open up their homes for rent to help accommodate the inflow of tourists. That will also help place a lid on prices by increasing supply, Airbnb chief Brian Chesky told Reuters in September.

“Short-term rentals will play a key role as the sector is more elastic in terms of capacity than hotels,” Alexander Göransson, a senior consultant at Euromonitor International, added in a report

Soaring costs in the City of Love

Paris was never among Europe’s cheapest destinations to visit—but it’s about to get more expensive with the city’s tourist tax set to triple. 

At present, the tax varies from €0.25 to €5.5, France 24 reported, which is now subject to change in the lead-up to the Olympics to support the Parisian public transport systems. 

“It’s another blow for the competitiveness of our sector as well as France’s image at a time when all attention is on the Paris 2024 Olympics,” hotel and restaurant union UMIH and GNC group of hotel chains said in a statement last month, according to the same news outlet.   

Another concern has been the thousands of migrants and others who have been moved from the French capital, exacerbating its homelessness crisis. 

Questions have been raised about France’s preparedness for hosting the large-scale sporting event that attracts viewers from all over the world. Its transport system—which connects the different zones of the city—has been front and center in the conversation, after Paris’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo cautioned in November that parts of the transport system will not be able to meet capacity. Public transport has been a cause for concern in recent months with a bedbug outbreak and overcrowding.

Metro tickets in the city will see a nearly 100% price hike through the period of the event, which goes on till Aug. 11. 

Yet hosting an iconic event like the Olympics could ultimately be good for the French capital, according to Euromonitor’s Göransson. 

“Assuming a successfully executed Games, it will be a great opportunity to showcase Paris as a destination,” he said. “The true benefits of a successful Paris 2024, forecast to be watched by a global television audience of four billion, will be felt in subsequent years. Unlike during the Olympics itself, this will benefit the overall tourism economy and not just hospitality.”

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