The wine route, the storks, the typical villages, the castles, Strasbourg… With its many assets, Alsace has again seduced tourists this summer. Perhaps not as much as before the start of the health crisis, but the region “still attracts” according to the first echoes and figures.
“There is better compared to 2020 but we remain below 2019 which had been a very good year”, summarizes Marc Lévy, director of Alsace Destination Tourism, before going into detail. “The urban environment suffered as well as all those who had specialized in welcoming groups. Conversely, establishments and certain places have turned like airplanes. “
Who are these lucky winners? The gîtes de France of the two departments are part of it. In the Bas-Rhin, President Maurice Waltsburger speaks of a housing occupancy rate “greater than 90% over two months”. “People have sought to avoid large concentrations to protect themselves from Covid-19,” he thinks. In the neighboring department, the director Serge Mezin evokes, him, “77% from July 14 to August 20”. That is to say statistics qualified as excellent in the first case, “correct” in the second.
Haut-Koenigsbourg has nothing to complain about either. Compared to last summer, the famous fortress saw its attendance double in July and August, with 55,000 and then 70,000 visitors. “The costumed sketches were very popular, we also redesigned our scenography and organized a lot of entertainment”, welcomes its director Bruno Caro, qualifying. “For 2020, we could reach 250,000 people, which is still far from the 562,000, the record of 2019.”
The trend is the same at the Le Petit Prince amusement park. “To say that we are happy would be an exaggeration. Relieved, that’s rather the word ”, sums up its co-founder Jérôme Giacomoni. “A normal year is 200,000 admissions. There, we are at -15 or even -20% but we have passed the wave rather well given the context. “
Because in addition to the stories related to the health pass, all tourism stakeholders had to face very rainy weather during these major school holidays. Imponderables which are added to the absence of usual foreign visitors, who have not crossed their borders. The German, Belgian, Dutch and Swiss neighbors came, although fewer in number, but not the distant clientele.
“There have been a few Americans, but very slowly. The Asian market is at a standstill and will not restart until 2024-2025 ”, continues Marc Lévy. Strasbourg suffered, with 30% fewer visitors than in 2019, according to figures from the tourist office. An essential element of the landscape, the specialist in sightseeing boats Batorama has announced 105,000 passengers over the past three months. “That is 35% of what we were doing in 2019”, explains Reynald Schaich, aware that “people were wary of urban destinations. “
The hoteliers confirm. “The overall turnover is down 40% compared to 2019 but still above 2019”, assesses Pierre Siegel, the local president of the Union of trades and industries of the hotel industry. “Unlike last summer, very few establishments were closed. We have just had our best month for a year and a half. It’s a good sign, but we lack prospects. “Especially in view of the next big event in Alsace: the Christmas market. For tourism professionals, the results of the year 2021 will depend on its performance.