Short-Term Rentals and the 2019 Paris Marathon

The 2019 Paris Marathon and short-term rental development

“‘Paris is always a good idea”’ claimed Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954).

For many, these words ring true – there are few cities in the world that have the power to inspire and seduce as much as Paris does, and Paris is “‘always a good idea”’ for tourists, with over 40 million visitors each year.

In recent years, Paris has seen a rapid development of the short-term rental market, which is drastically changing the hospitality sector in the City.  

The growing interest in short-term rentals, combined with lower prices, have attracted tourist demand to this sector, leading to an increasing number of short-term rental businesses in the market. 

The growing short-term rental phenomenon has resulted in 60,000 rental listings across Paris, making it the city with one of the largest marketplaces for short-term rental platforms in the world.  

Tourists are attracted to Paris throughout the year. During large events, there is a greater impact on the variation of occupancy and average prices across the short-term rental industry, and the hospitality industry in general.

The Paris Marathon (Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris) takes place each year on the second Sunday of April. The marathon is an international running event that gives participants (almost 50,000) and spectators the opportunity to see Paris’s landmark sites as this urban circuit is renowned as being one of the most beautiful in the world.

Short-Term Rental Occupancy during the 2019 Paris Marathon

This graph shows the average occupancy of short-term rentals in Paris from 31 March 2019 to 23 April 2019.

We analysed the data of the short-term rental market in Paris from 31 March 2019 to 23 April 2019. The average occupancy of the marathon weekend (13-14 April) increased 10% in comparison with the previous one (6-7 April), showing a considerable rise in the number of visitors. 

The weekend before the marathon recorded 72% occupancy. During the marathon, the average occupancy increased to 82%. It must be noted that the week after the marathon (15-21 April 2019), the occupancy rates continued growing. This may be explained by the Easter holidays and so it comes as no surprise that occupancy rates remained high. 

Why monitoring events like the 2019 Paris Marathon is important for DMOs

Short-term rentals are increasingly being used by travelers. Destination Marketing Organizations must take a closer look at what is happening around events that attract thousands of visitors in a few days (the Paris Marathon being just one of the latest examples).

Destinations struggle when thousands of new visitors fly into a city for a weekend: traffic increases, there is no way to control public transport, tourist information points are flooded and more police are needed. There is, however, no way to know where they are staying or where they will go (except for assuming they will visit the most popular tourist destinations).

But what if DMOs were able to know how many people to expect in the city and where would they be staying in advance? DMOs could make informed decisions to adapt public transportation, understand tourist flow around the city, place the appropriate resources where needed and manage their destination in a sustainable way to make the most out of any event.

That’s exactly how Transparent is already working with some destinations around the World. Regulations will come and go, and the debate around them will continue, but as long as visitors keep travelling and choosing short-term rentals as their preferred accommodation, destinations must stay up to date with the industry. Will they keep complaining about overtourism, or will they make the most out of short-term rental data and manage their destinations in advance?

How Transparent can enhance DMOs’ research

Through a combination of proprietary data aggregation and data science and aggregation of publicly available data, Transparent develops insight on market conditions, such as supply growth, demand patterns, average daily rates, and occupancy. By monitoring the tourist demand of the short-term rental industry, stakeholders can predict and, consequently, act to manage tourist development in a destination.