Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 30/04/01
Author: Page Number: 22
Copyright: Other





France

New promotion helps to stem falling bookings

Report by STEVEJONES

A N advertising campaign has helped stem the sales slide to France following a turbulent 2000, according to Cresta Holidays.

The high-profile promotional push, orchestrated by the French Tourist Board, has had a tangible effect with sales to the Atlantic region of France 10% up on last year.

Forward bookings are also healthier than last year.

Speaking at the launch of Cresta’s second-edition France brochure, brand manager Anne Hampson said: “Brittany, the Vendee and southern Atlantic coastline region are core to our France programme.

“Sales were down between 5% and 25% last year due to the Erika oil spill off the west coast, so it was very important to kick-start business.

“We have also held this year’s prices as we are mindful that last year was difficult and we need to do everything to stimulate the market.”

She added agents also have a role to play in restoring confidence to the region and need to be aware the beaches are completely free from pollution. Fishermen’s port blockades last year also had a negative effect.

Hampson said the top performers in France this year are Languedoc Roussillon and Corsica, with sales up 100% and 30% respectively.

“Languedoc Roussillon – between Provence and the Spanish border – is still a relatively undiscovered corner of France but it is growing in popularity,” she said. “The family self-catering market in particular is increasing, with sales double that of last year.”

She said the competitive price and low-cost flights into Nimes and Montpellier have also contributed to the success.

Sales to Corsica have grown partly because the region is included in the advertising campaign, added Hampson.

Meanwhile, Burgundy and the Cote d’Or are selling well – particularly for touring holidays – while Lyon as a city-break destination is more than 20% ahead.

Prices in the second edition of the brochure lead in at £80 per person for a week in early June at the Marines de St Michael near St Nazaire.

Prices are based on four sharing a self-catering apartment and are inclusive of ferry crossing.

Renewed interest: sales to France are currently up 10% on last year