Record-Breaking number of tourists visit Monaco in 2013
Tourism is an important income-earner for the economy of Monaco. While sales of?Monaco real estate?have been consistently on the rise in the past few years, the statistics on hotel reservations had been showing a worrying decline. To turn the tables the Monegasque government together with SBM took measures to reinvent the image of the Principality, long viewed solely as a tax-heaven and a luxury destination for the uber rich from Western Europe.
“Many people have this perception that Monaco is far more costly than it is, but if you compare products in the UK or Paris, you might find that Monaco is comparable or even less expensive,” says Cindy Hoddeson, director of meeting/incentive sales at the Monaco Government Tourist Office.
Pressured by the competition from the Middle East, Monaco began to target the emerging upper middle class from China, Russia and Brazil. The efforts of the Monegasque government turned out to be fruitful, bringing a record-breaking number of overnight stays in 2013.
Monaco saw a rapidly increasing number of Russian and Asian tourists come to the Principality. In August, all the major hotels were predominantly booked by the Russian-speaking tourists, who overall comprised 7.2% of all tourists, who visited Monaco last year.
Although the French were still the most populous tourist group that stayed overnight in Monaco in 2013, followed by the Brits and Italians in second and third places respectively; an unexpectedly large number of Americans tourists flocked to Monaco. It has taken them nearly five years, but they are heading back to Monaco and doing it in a big way. In 2013, they made up the largest number of non-European tourists on the Cote d’Azur. “It’s almost like America is running back to Europe,” says Chris Lynn, the VP of Sales and Marketing, North America at London & Partners.
Last year’s record-breaking number of tourists in Monaco was due largely to the business tourism. Monaco’s numerous MICE events, i.e. meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions; accounted for 160,791 hotel room reservations. Personal tourism also brought in a large number of overnight stays, with an occupancy rate peaking at 81.24% in June. These data, however, excludes the day trippers, of whom Monaco annually welcomes seven million, and those visitors, who opted for long-term?Monaco rentals.
Monaco’s boosted attractiveness resulted not only in an increased number of tourists, but also in an influx of international property buyers. The Principality, with its new milder residence rules towards non-European residents and with its wealth of recreational opportunities, business events and financial benefits; attracted a number of those seeking to invest in Monaco property for sale. Russian buyers have been among the most active on the Monaco real estate market, increasingly purchasing the most luxurious Monte-Carlo property.
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