Summary of our market study

The French vacation village market is estimated at between 400 and 450 million euros

Since 2020, the French vacation village market has been suffering the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a severe impact on the sector, resulting in an 83.7% drop in April 2020 sales compared with 2019. It has recovered strongly since the end of the crisis. The market is once again experiencing strong demand from French and international customers, with a generally older, family-oriented clientele.

Private players are fuelling market growth by investing in more environmentally-friendly types of accommodation that blend into the landscape. The market seems to have reached maturity and is highly competitive, prompting a focus on differentiating offerings, notably through online platforms.

The global hotel market, of which French vacation villages are a segment, has rebounded to $4,502.83 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 13.9%, and is expected to reach $6,000.51 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 7.4%.

However, the French short-stay tourist accommodation sector recorded a 30.5% decline in 2021, despite an 11.6% increase on 2020.

Emerging trends in the French vacation village market

In France, the vacation village market presents a diverse landscape that caters to both domestic and international travelers looking for packaged vacation experiences.

The data show that demand in this market comes mainly from families and older clientele. These vacation village regulars, who account for almost half of the market's clientele, are known for their loyalty to certain destinations and chains.

The French vacation village market, shared between commercial companies and social tourism associations such as UNAT, enjoyed regular sales of between 400 and 450 million euros before experiencing a major slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the market's resilience is remarkable, with private players stimulating growth and investing in more sustainable and integrated types of accommodation.

Despite strong competition, differentiation has become essential, with a focus on offers aimed at an older clientele with moderate to comfortable incomes, translating into vacation budgets of between 500 and 3,000 euros.

Statistically, the market indicates that holidaymakers make around three tourist stays a year, favoring services such as guesthouses and self-catering accommodation.

Among the activities chosen during stays, walking, relaxation and resting activities top the list, indicating a preference for quiet, picturesque locations. In terms of seasonality, interest in vacation villages peaks during the summer months, particularly between June and August.

A look at a market leader such as Pierre et Vacances - Center Parcs offers a view of broader market trends. With sales in excess of one billion euros, the group reveals that a significant proportion of its revenue - almost two-thirds - comes from accommodation, with a considerable fraction of its clientele originating from European countries such as the UK and Spain, in addition to a strong French base.

The classification of vacation villages ranges from one to five stars, corresponding to the level of luxury offered by each establishment.

The market is characterized by a mix of commercial and UNAT-affiliated companies, the latter holding a large but less profitable share.

The pillars of French vacation villages.

  • Club Med is synonymous with high-end, all-inclusive resorts, a pioneer in the field, specializing in upscale vacation experiences and present worldwide.
  • Pierre & Vacances has forged a strong market position thanks to a diversified portfolio that includes both upscale and family-friendly offerings.
  • BelambraClubs focus on local experiences, offering holidaymakers the chance to immerse themselves in the region's natural and cultural environment.
  • Center Parcs stands out for its concept of bringing the outdoors indoors. Their villages offer a unique blend of nature-based activities and modern comforts for families and groups looking to reconnect with nature.
  • Villages Clubs du Soleil are riding the wave of social tourism, aiming to make vacations more accessible.
  • Azureva offers vacations that capture the essence of France's regions. From mountain retreats to seaside getaways.
  • VVF Villages (Village Vacances France) and Ternélia represent the social segment of the market, often emphasizing the community aspect of vacations. Both companies manage a network of villages that aim to offer enriching experiences while contributing positively to local communities and economies.
  • Cap France completes the list as a network of independently managed villages catering to a variety of tastes and budgets. They focus on authentic vacations in France.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A vacation village is a tourist establishment that welcomes holidaymakers for stays of varying lengths. Families are welcomed in the form of a package (accommodation, catering, or individual means of preparing meals, leisure activities). Two types of vacation villages exist in France:

  • Management by social tourism associations (affiliated to UNAT) ;
  • Private management by commercial companies (Pierre et Vacances);

The players in the French market are social and solidarity tourism players, groups managing vacation village and tourist accommodation sites, networks of independent players, and specialized online booking platforms.

The French market has been concentrated and stable for several years. The players are divided between vacation villages with associative status, or participating in social and solidarity tourism, and private players whose aim is to make a profit. The former seek to make tourism more accessible and more responsible and in 2018 achieved a turnover of 421 million euros .

The Covid-19 pandemic has strongly impacted the business. Bookings were slowed and the sector suffered from government-imposed restrictions. The activity's revenue in April 2020 dropped by 83.7%.

Private players are driving the growth of the market, and continue to invest in new types of accommodation: more respectful, more consistent with the landscape and aiming for better waste management. After a phase of market concentration, the market seems to have reached maturity, the competition between the players motivates the differentiation of the offer and it takes place on the websites and the marketplaces which are the windows and stores of the sector.

Demand is divided between French and international clients, and French vacation villages are still benefiting from the attraction of foreigners to the country. Moreover, the clientele of the vacation villages is rather old and family oriented, with a good rate of loyalty and a fairly regular purchasing power.

1.2 The global hospitality market

The global hospitality market grew from $*,***.** billion in **** to $*,***.** billion in ****, at a compound annual growth rate (***) of **.*%. The hospitality market is expected to reach $*,***.** billion in ****, at a CAGR of *.*%.

Global Hospitality Market Size World, ****-****, USD billion Source: ****

The war between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the chances of ...

1.3 The French short-term tourist accommodation market

In the Insee nomenclature, vacation village activities are recorded under NAF code **.**Z: Tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation. This code does not only concern vacation villages but remains a good indicator of the general dynamics of the market.

revenue growth in tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation (***) France, ****-****, in ...

1.4 The impact of the health crisis on the French market

Insee presents the evolution of the turnover index of activities recorded under NAF code **.**Z (***).

change in the turnover index for tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation (***) France, September **** - August ****, index *** in **** Source: ****

The index reflects the very poor performance of **** compared to ****. Despite a very positive start to the ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Holiday village clientele: age, income bracket, social class

You can find more figures on French tourism in **** and **** on the following studies: The online travel marketThe youth hostel marketThe ecotourism marketThe market for luxury campsites

UNAT published its Holiday Village Customer Study in ****. This study is the result of a survey conducted among the target clientele. Because the sector ...

2.2 Characteristics of the stays: services, activities and loyalty

Types of stay

On average, the clientele makes *.* tourist stays per year, generally between * and * nights. The survey also reveals the type of services chosen by the clientele during their stay in a vacation village.

Type of service chosen by the demand during a stay in a vacation village France, ****, in ...

2.3 Seasonality of demand

The online tool Google Trends, allows us to obtain the evolution of the interest for a given term, according to the number of times this term was searched on a given period in a defined region. The graph below reports the evolution of the interest for the term "Village vacances"

evolution ...

3 Market structure

3.1 vacation village in the area

Vacation villages in France

In France, two types of vacation villages can be distinguished: those that have a commercial function, and those that participate in social and solidarity tourism (***). In the Tourism chapter of the **** edition of the Tables de l'économie française - Insee, you can find the table ...

3.2 The different structures and main actors

As mentioned earlier, vacation villages are divided between villages that participate in social and solidarity tourism affiliated with UNAT, and private group villages (***).

However, it should be remembered that UNAT declares *** vacation villages in its network at the end of **** - so this breakdown may have become more evenly distributed since ...

3.3 Focus on a market leader Pierre et Vacances - Center Parcs

Pierre et Vacances Center Parcs Group (***)

The group is one of the leaders in France in the sector. The group's ****/**** registration document carries out a review of its activities. It brings together more than *** sites operated in Europe under * tourism brands, three of which concern vacation villages:

Pierre et Vacances: (***): The ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 The classification of vacation villages

A typology of the vacation village offer can be made according to a classification from * to * stars which defines the level of standing of these establishments. This classification is relative to the arree of July *, **** setting the standards and procedure for the classification of vacation villages (***) modified by order of May ...

4.2 France offers a great diversity of destinations and vacation villages

The table below is intended to show the great diversity of vacation villages in France. This list is not exhaustive and is intended to illustrate the current offer of the sector in France

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulations and general definition

Definition of a tourist residence :

article D. ***-* of the Tourism Code:

"A classified commercial accommodation establishment, subject to permanent or seasonal operation. It is made up of one or more individual or collective housing buildings grouping together, in a homogeneous whole, furnished housing premises and premises for collective use. ...

5.2 Quality labels

Qualité Tourisme :

Qualité Tourisme is a brand that federates the steps taken by tourism professionals whose objective is the quality of service for customer satisfaction. Registered by the Ministry of Tourism, the Quality Tourism mark is a guarantee of confidence for tourism professionals and their customers.The "Tourism and Handicap" ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation of actors

6.2 Study of the companies' websites

Web traffic of the main vacation village websites in France France, ****-****, in thousands of visits Source: ****

Web traffic of the other main vacation village websites in France France, ****-****, in thousands of visits Source: ****

  • Pierre et Vacances
  • Center Parcs (Pierre et Vacanses)
  • ClubMed
  • Belambra Clubs
  • Azureva
  • Villages clubs du soleil
  • Ternelia
  • Village Vacances France (VVF)
  • Cap France

List of charts presented in this market study

  • World hospitality market
  • Changes in revenues from tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation (vacation villages)
  • Change in the turnover index for tourist accommodation and other short-term accommodation (including vacation villages)
  • Vacation village customers by age group and type of customer
  • Breakdown of vacation village customers by type
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Latest news

Club Med expands in the Middle East - 08/05/2024
  • Club Med plans to open a 300-room club in the Musandam region of Oman.
  • The cost of building the complex is being financed to the tune of 90 million euros by a consortium led by Omran Group.
  • Construction is due to start in 2026, and the resort is scheduled to open in 2028.
Club Med completes 20-year journey upmarket - 28/03/2024
  • - Business volume: almost 2 billion euros
  • - Increase in business volume: 17% compared to 2022 (1.7 billion euros)
  • - Business volume increase in Asia: 96%, back to 2019 level
  • - Number of customers welcomed during the year: 1.5 million
  • - Increase in number of customers: 16% compared with 2022
  • - Increase in resort capacity: 6%
  • - Net income: 99 million euros, including 40 million euros in non-recurring items.
Tourism: Pierre & Vacances tests a new foray into the high-end segment - 27/03/2024
  • - Annual customer numbers: two million
  • - Number of residences in Europe: 186
  • - Number of residences in France: 143
  • - Target number of 4- to 5-star residences in 5 years: 25
Tourism: Pierre & Vacances - Center Parcs continues to climb the slope - 01/12/2023
  • Total sales for Pierre et Vacances-Center Parcs in 2023: 1.91 billion euros
  • Sales growth since 2022: 8.2
  • Tourism revenues (accommodation and related activities): 1.74 billion euros (up 12.8% on 2022)
  • Revenues from other activities (real estate operations, Senioriales): 173 million euros (down 23.3%)
  • Net income: -20.6 million euros (including non-recurring operating expenses of 59 million)
  • Center Parcs sales: up 13.1% compared to 2022
  • Center Parcs occupancy rate: 76.6% (up 1.2 points)
  • Pierre & Vacances sales growth: +3.4
  • Adagio aparthotel brand revenues up: 29.1
Club Med: China's Fosun wants to open up the capital - 23/09/2023
  • Fosun took control of Club Med eight years ago.
  • The current plan is to sell 20-30% of the group's capital.
  • The valuation of Club Med could reach around 2 billion euros, with Fosun remaining Club Med's majority shareholder.
  • For the year 2022, business volume has reached 1.7 billion for an operating profit of 98 million.
  • Club Med already has 66 resorts and plans to open a further 17 by 2025.
Pierre & Vacances embarks on major renovations - 07/09/2023
  • The group aims to add 2,900 new accommodations by 2026.
  • It plans to increase the number of its apartments by 17% over the current level.
  • In the past, property development accounted for almost 20% of sales.
  • 95% of apartments are currently owned by small property owners.
  • The group plans to change its business model, focusing 100% on the operation of accommodation for its new projects.
  • 80 new projects are already under development.
  • Pierre & Vacances recently took over 11 competitor residences.
  • This summer's accommodation occupancy rate is 90%, and revenue per available room is up 4% on 2022 and 19% on 2019.
  • The group will manage 45,800 units by 2022. 28 sites out of 189 will be renovated by 2024.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Pierre et Vacances
Center Parcs (Pierre et Vacanses)
ClubMed
Belambra Clubs
Azureva
Villages clubs du soleil
Ternelia
Village Vacances France (VVF)
Cap France

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