Twenty years ago, the French Alps used to only attract hikers, cycling enthusiasts, native families and property owners during the summer months. However, many of the popular ski resorts – such as Megève, Les Gets and Châtel – have evolved over the past 10 years and adapted their tourism strategies to appeal to a broader range of visitors by offering a diverse range of summer activities such as festivals, mountain biking competitions, golf and yoga retreats. Summer in the French Alps is just as scenic and sporty as the ski season as the snow melts away to reveal stunning alpine lakes and lush green valleys.
With more and more tourists choosing to spend their summer holidays in the French Alps, investors with a ski chalet or apartment in the French Alps have the opportunity to earn rental yields throughout the year. The French Alps are not just for the ski season!
Summer months in the French Alps attract tourists from all around the globe. Since 2014, tourism has been steadily increasing in this area and it has become a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. Thanks to tourist offices constantly reinventing themselves and offering a wide range of summer activities, 22.6 million stays were recorded in the summer of 2018 and this figure is expected to grow in the years to come.
This growth has had an impact on the dynamism of the region and the property market as more and more tourists are looking for properties to rent in the summer months. This makes owning a property in the French Alps even more valuable as property here can benefit from capital appreciation as the resorts develop and achieve rental yields throughout the year, not just during winter.
Even if winter makes up 61% of the annual tourist numbers, summer and spring still account for 36% of tourist visits. In terms of rentals, this means that the ski season is inevitably the most sought-after period, but that the demand for holiday homes for short stays remains high in summer.
August is predictably the best month in terms of tourism in the region, even if July has shown itself very popular for holidaymakers. However, we tend to observe a longer season than just these two months, with tourists also making their French Alps their temporary home during June and September as well.
Despite tourist figures decreasing slightly in summer, occupancy rates in residences don’t suffer a huge drop, while hotels remain fairly consistent in both winter and summer. This is due to two reasons: firstly, the summer season is shorter so there is less available time for bookings and, secondly, accommodation is generally much cheaper. For example, in the dual-season resort of Les Gets, the average daily rate for accommodation is €254 in February against €124 in May.
This means that investors who intend to rent out their property can expect their apartment or chalet to have a relatively consistent rental yield during the tourist seasons. These figures above are averages and it goes without saying that the better the property and location, the higher the occupancy rate. If a property has good views and easy ski access, then during the winter months it will have increased chances of higher rental yields during this period. Meanwhile, in the summer, accommodation that is close to aqua centres, lakes and other key tourist summer attractions will certainly generate more interest in terms of rentals.
Occupancy will also depend on the location and the features of your property, but keep in mind that certain dual-season resorts – such as Megève, Les Gets and Châtel – have more success during the summer than others such as Val d’Isère. With a 60% average occupation rate in Megève, the charming village is reaffirming its position as a true dual-season resort.
While prices soar in the French Riviera during July and August, the French Alps remain an economical option for holidaymakers in the summer, with average rented accommodation rates 51% lower than the seaside.
In 2017, the French Alps made the top five French regions in terms of sunlight, therefore, competing with big summer destinations such as the French Riviera and Corsica. The French Alps receive more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year and July is the sunniest month. In terms of sunshine, this puts the Alps in the same league as the South of France.
Regarded as one of the world's premier winter sports destinations, The French Alps spans 8 adjoining mountain chains that rise up from Provence in the South and across the borders of Switzerland and Italy. Spread across 210,000 kilometres, they combine some of the world's most dynamic ski destinations with an adventure sports scene fast on the ...