2009: a very good season for camping grounds, a tough year for hotels
In 2009, the number of nights spent in French camping grounds rose 4.2% for the summer season alone. Camping grounds benefited from an increase in domestic visitors, which more than offset the downturn in bookings by foreign customers. As a consequence of the economic crisis, part of this customer base opted for cheaper stays. But, as in the past few years, camping grounds also reaped the benefits of a drive to expand the number of pitches. By contrast, hotel bookings fell 4.0% during the season. Hotels suffered from a decrease in the number of business customers and of foreign tourists. The downswing was steeper outside the summer period, and business was more sluggish in towns and cities than in coastal and mountain regions.