Will business travelers need Olympic strength to visit Paris during the Games?

Millions of people are headed to France’s capital city and surrounding regions this summer for the 2024 Olympic Games. Expect inflated costs and the inevitable delays and strains caused by the influx of people. Rescheduling or moving business travel plans to dates outside of the events is advised. If business trips to Paris are unavoidable during the Games, here’s what you should consider.

Business travelers who plan to visit Paris during this summer’s Olympic Games (July 26 – Aug. 11) and Paralympic Games (Aug. 28 – Sept. 8) should expect to encounter higher prices and the delays and strains caused by an influx of people. The Olympics take place during what is generally an off-peak period for Paris business travel. Rescheduling or moving business travel plans away from the city during the Games is advised. But, if you have to go, make our guide part of your travel planning.

 What’s inside:

  • The Games’ impact on Paris airfares
  • An outlook on Paris room rates
  • Insights on rail transport and ticket availability
  • Advice for travelers planning to rent a car
  • Engagement and support for travelers in the city
  • Info on airports and alternates, culture and safety
  • Human trafficking and major events
  • Tips for a sustainable trip
  • A pre-trip checklist

Bonjour, Paris!

Paris will welcome an estimated 15.3 million visitors for the Games. With thousands of athletes, spectators, and dignitaries flocking to France’s capital, arrange lodging and transportation well in advance. To prepare:

  • Book all air, hotel, rail and car reservations as early as possible and within company policy
  • Ensure traveler profiles are updated so arrangers and agents can provide assistance, if needed
  • Understand and plan around the available transportation options, including public transit, ride-sharing and car rental options
  • Become familiar with the Paris locations, neighborhoods and venues you plan to visit
  • Plan bleisure activities and buy tickets ahead of time for the Games or tourist attractions

Hotel rates are high, but occupation may not be

A reported 50% of Paris hotels already have been booked, but rooms still are widely available. In March, Paris tourism officials told The Independent that they aren’t worried about having enough rooms. In fact, they predict one in three hotel rooms will be empty during the Games. Based on BCD data pulled this month, Average Bed Rate (ABR) for a room in Paris with basic amenities is USD $397.25 or €366.65 for the Olympic dates. In 2023, ABR for the same room on the same dates was USD $203.53, or €187.85. Hotels will profit but not to a shocking degree.

Airbnb business won’t suffer during the Games. Many Parisians plan to leave the city for the summer and rent their homes at a high cost. In January, The New York Times reported average Airbnb prices for Olympic dates surpassed USD $540.25, or €500, nightly.

The Business Traveler’s Guide to Paris is valuable for any business traveler or travel team planning trips to the city any time from mid-July through early September. Get it at the button below.

The famous Olympic rings outside of a Games venue

Studies of large events have shown that host cities don’t always see the extreme visitor numbers and increased spending one might expect. When hosting the Olympic Games, neither London in 2012 nor Rio de Janeiro in 2016 experienced a substantial rise in visitor numbers. Rio even saw a 5% drop in tourist arrivals. But those tourists who did visit during the Games spent 6% more year-over-year.

For more insights on the impact of travel on large events, see BCD’s analysis here.

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