#ReunionIsland takes stock of H1 arrivals of 2019


(Posted 13th September 2019)


After the 2018 year-end marked a new arrival record, 234,405 foreign tourists were welcomed on the island during the first half of 2019. This is the second best result ever recorded for this period, 3% behind the record balance posted in the first half of 2018 but 7.5% more than in 2017!

The first three months of the year posted a slightly higher influx than the second quarter. While recreational tourists are still in the majority with 90.7% of total arrivals, it is important to note that the number of leisure tourists exceeds the number of VFR tourists .

Reunion thus confirms its attractiveness to the metropolitan market and attracts more and more visitors, who do not travel to visit family or friends, for example. The tourism business increased slightly and now represents 8.8% of the total attendance. As in 2018, the average length of stay is remained at 17 days.

The evolution of attendance

With 84% of the total arrivals or 197,556 visitors, metropolitan France remains the main source market for Reunion Island. This is an increase of 3.4% compared to last year, which again marks the importance of mainland French tourists for local tourism.

Neighbouring islands in the Indian Ocean zone today account for 9% of the number of outside visitors welcomed on the island. Reunion remains very popular with Mauritian travelers who represent the bulk of the market.

The European market (excluding metropolitan France) has a volume of more than 13,000 tourists in this first half and remains an essential visitor source for the island, with 6% of total attendance. The majority of these visitors come from Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. The rest of the world represents 1% of the total number of visitors for this beginning of the year.

Once on the island, more than half of tourists (51.2%) opt for a commercial accommodation, which is a slight increase compared to 2018. However, it is important to note that for the first time, the seasonal rentals have captured a larger share of travelers than classified hotels. This kind of accommodation is becoming more and more popular and was was chosen by 21.4% of visitors, against 21.2% for classified hotels.

A record for cruises!

Cruise tourism is on the rise again. Between January and April 2019, 23 cruise ships anchored off the Reunion shores for a stop, one more than last year. But because of the much larger capacity of the ships accommodated this year, 40,879 cruise passengers landed in Reunion Island: this is an exceptional growth of 77.3% compared to the same period last year.

Satisfaction at the highest

Reunion continues to record high levels of visitor satisfaction. The appeal of the destination, the quality of hospitality, accommodation, leisure and catering are appreciated by the overwhelming majority of visitors.

At the beginning of this year, revenues from foreign tourism continue to represent 1 million euros per day with 182 million euros spent. Forecasts for the end of 2019 and the peak season are confirming good momentum for Reunion tourism and among industry professionals.

A report that justifies, once again, the sustained commitment of the Reunion Region and its operational relays in terms of tourism policy. Reunion Island Tourism engages with local tourism professionals and has continuously shown their desire to make the tourism sector a main pillar of the Reunion economy . This development policy for the tourism sector is part of a global strategy to strengthen the region’s economic growth.

IRT / MTA tourist survey 2018.
The data from the 2019 visitor survey are the results of surveys conducted at Réunion airports by the MTA research bureau.
MTA is a consulting firm specializing in the world of air transport since 1992, he worked mainly in France, Europe and the Caribbean area.