Posted on Thursday, 5 January 2012
|2012 has dawned on the French Riviera with a mild and sunny start, a welcome ray of warmth on a dark and somewhat gloomy European continent. While pre Christmas news reports dominated with tales of economic woe and financial ruin the world still turned, we all got through Christmas with some seasonal cheer and the sun kept rising on the Cote d'Azur.|
While the weather is making the news for it's mildness in the South of France, the region is also boasting record visitor figures for 2011 despite the havoc wreaked across the globe by our economic task masters.
Nice Cote d'Azur International Airport have revealed that passenger figures for 2011 were up 8.5% beating their previous bumper year which was in 2007, with 10.4 million passengers passing through their doors. A figure that doesn't take into account visitor numbers arriving by train or road from mainland Europe.
The rail network accounts for a further 14 million influx of visitors into the region, 2.7 million arrive through the ports while car transport continues to be the most popular form of transport into the region. In 2006 59% of arrivals were realised by car, although this is a declining figure with the increase in low cost airline services.
It has been a year of records for the airport though, as reported by the chamber of commerce, which is a good indicator of the state of affairs for the most popular tourist region in France. There is now a record number of companies operating out of Nice airport:59; a record number of direct destinations: 105; a record number of commercial passengers in one day: 43,762 on July 30th 2011; and a record for the busiest month; 1,218,501 passnegrs in July 2011.
The profile of visitors has shifted in comparison with other years and some large scale events have also influenced these numbers. Not surprisingly visitor numbers from Ireland and Portugal are in decline while UK numbers are stable, it is the Scandinavian countries who are shining at the top of the list.
Major events that significantly influenced the figures are the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and the G20 summit which increased visitor numbers while the Arab Spring risings saw a decline of visitors from these areas.
So as we wave good bye to 2011, a particularly successful year on the French Riviera, we look forward to welcoming another warm and sunny year on the French Riviera.
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