What if happiness is in the meadow this summer? This seems to be what some French people think, as more and more of them are choosing to rent a place in rural areas during the summer. Thus, according to a study* published by PAP Vacances on Thursday, bookings for rural accommodations on the platform increased by 22.1% this summer compared to the same period in 2019. A trend that can also be observed in Airbnb (+50% compared to the 2019 summer period).
Ditto in Gîtes de France (+20% compared to summer 2021). For its part, Abritel does not yet have consolidated numbers for this summer. “But we’re recording a 30% increase in rural holiday home searches for July and August compared to last year,” company spokesperson Xavier Rousselou tells .
Southeast Referendum, but not only …
In the provinces of the Southeast Quarter, booking progress for this summer was strongest in PAP Vacances: Vaucluse (+51.6%), Ardèche (+36.1%), Drome (26.2%). “Last summer was dreary and cold, so not many vacationers want to risk the weather. Hence this poll from the Southeast,” explains Corinne Jolly, PAP President. the father. « Autre information : les villes les plus demandées pour des maisons à la campagne sont Sarlat, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Apt et Vaison-la-Romaine », ajoute Laetitia Caron, la General Manager.
“We notice the intense rural appeal of Loire, Ariège, Corrèze and Creuse,” notes Solange Escure, General Manager of Gîtes de France. Bertrand Bourdy, Airbnb’s deputy general manager in France, noted that there is strong demand for “Jura, Landes, Ardache, Ur and Fendi”.
“A house in the country is on average 10% cheaper than a house by the sea”
If the French are more likely to book in rural areas, it’s first and foremost because there are more offerings this year. “The number of campaign ads increased by 13.2% between 2019 and 2022 on PAP Vacances. There is no doubt that in the context of declining purchasing power, some want to make their homes profitable,” notes Laetitia Caron. Bertrand Berdet says the same note: “Offering your property for rent is a good opportunity to make ends meet. This corresponds to an average income of 3800 euros per year for our guests.”
Vacationers also for economic reasons. “A house in the country is on average 10% cheaper than a house by the sea. The average budget for a week is €1313,” says Corinne Jolly. Xavier Rousselou comments, “Holiday makers can leave less distance from their homes, which can be appreciated in this period when the price of gasoline is high.”
Local tourism vs. mass tourism
This desire for green is also explained by the Covid-19 crisis, which has changed the tourist habits of the French. In the midst of the health crisis, they were looking for somewhat isolated homes to reduce risks. Nothing remains. Having tasted the pleasure of intolerating crowds, they seek places that are less fizzy and more relaxing,” notes Laetitia Caron. “Many now prefer local tourism to mass tourism,” adds Bertrand Bordet. During the health crisis, they have rediscovered their country. The countryside is no longer seen Absolutely not an old-fashioned destination, but a quality destination,” Xavier Rossello insists.
Renting in the countryside also sometimes means taking advantage of better rent than on the coast. Houses in the countryside often have a higher capacity (7.2 persons vs. 6.6 persons at sea). That is why it is popular for gatherings with family or friends,” emphasizes Corinne Jolly. “Holiday makers want more space, so they can barbecue and sunbathe in the garden,” adds Corinne Jolly. And for those looking for originality, the offer is attractive. : “You can find for rent in a farmhouse, castle, mill, or stable… and live an authentic experience,” Bertrand Bourdy confirms. “Accommodations there are often less standardized than those on the coast. However, the French love beautiful buildings,” Xavier Rosselló adds.
The promise of multiple activities
Choosing the countryside also means you have a better chance of finding a home with a pool. “It’s the most sought-after equipment, before Wi-Fi and parking,” notes Bertrand Purdy. Vacationers who choose the countryside also do so to be able to take advantage of a wide range of activities: “Many small towns organize festivals, sports activities, farmers’ markets…and discovering heritage is a passion for the French,” points out Solange Escure. So there is no danger of boredom this summer.