heavy.Gavarnie Valley has few spendthrift tourists

At the Valley of Gavarnie, attendance is back to ‘normal’ after two explosive seasons. But the shopping cart is down.

“These are not exactly the same consumption habits,” quickly points out Delphine Lafon, who is in charge of press relations for the Gavarnie Valley tourism agency, which puts together tourist information points in the Argelès Valley. , Gavarnie-Gèdre, Barèges. If the data she relies on is more of a social expert’s “feel” than actual research, all evoke the same thing. In other words, a reduction in shopping carts.

A communications officer said, “Pre-Covid, attendance is back to normal.”

She continues: “This means a decline in the number of restaurants. Even though some have done very well, the trend is downward. Outdoor activities are also experiencing a concomitant decline in the number of activities. The mountain guide told us that it went well, not very well.”

Conversely, information points experienced a “hiking topos sales boom”, with maps sold for 1 €. Data from online applications “supports the feeling that people are increasingly wanting to go alone and not wanting to spend money on an escorted outing.”

Increase in non-car tourists

Budget-seeking tourists: “Affordable admission activities work very well.

On the other hand, the agency said, “customers concerned about the quality of their products,” while producers, artisans, cheese makers and jam makers were “satisfied with the season.”

Tourists are also more static. “You see reduced mobility,” she says Delphine Lafon. He thinks the price of gas certainly played a part in the fact that it made visitors shine less than usual. More and more people were without cars, and local bus routes had to be doubled regularly.

It is also the “recovery of demand for the alpine circuit” that has appeared. The Pyrenees National Park mentions the circuit of the Brèche des Cissiers, a circuit that has long been left behind.

Good news: our foreign guests are back! 90% of him is Spanish. In July 2021, 92% of French tourists visited the valley of Gavarnie, compared to 86% this year.

There are also new mountain dwellers all the time – questions asked in the shelters show this. Thus, the refuge welcomes them during the day and finds mountain lovers in the evening.

On the lodging side, agencies are eyeing the allure of quality. All campgrounds are seeing an increase in attendance, with some even saying “a customer has renewed him by 50%.” Hotels, on the other hand, generally experienced reduced or comparable attendance numbers. We are seeing a boom in rentals with exteriors and large-capacity accommodation facilities. After Covid, “People want to find themselves in tribes,” emphasizes Delphine Lafon.

She concludes: “We are seeing a renewed interest in the mountains and the Pyrenees in general. Here people come for authenticity and heritage, and cultural visits work very well. The Pyrenees have a soul. there is!”

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