The Toussaint (All Saints) school holiday is next week in France and in spite of the worsening health situation many people are still planning on taking a holiday.
In his live TV broadcast on Wednesday night, president Emmanuel Macron was asked about going away for the Toussaint break and said that people should apply “common sense” over health rules, but did not suggest that people should cancel their holidays.
And tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has been encouraging people to book an autumn break to support the struggling tourist industry.
Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne: “Les vacances sont un acte citoyen pour l'économie de nos territoires” pic.twitter.com/HjNIQNelQl
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) October 9, 2020
Against this backdrop, Normandy, Brittany and the west coast of France have seen a surge in bookings while the big cities and the French Riviera seem to be ignored by holidaymakers, according to a survey from booking company Abritel.
Wide open spaces, countryside and large beaches are proving attractive for obvious reasons as people spurn the cities, many of which are now on 'maximum alert' Covid-19 status and which are introducing a 9pm curfew from Saturday.
The Riviera may be suffering from its status in the late summer as an early hotspot of the 'second wave' of Covid-19 cases.
Among the most booked areas are Finistère and Morbihan in Brittany, Charente-Maritime on the west coast and Manche, Seine-Maritime and Calvados, all in Normandy.
“The French are very clearly turning their attention to destinations to the west of France, with Brittany, Normandy and part of the coast of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in the first place. The Mediterranean coast, as well as the overseas départments and major cities, seem to be less popular this year, no doubt due to the health context,” said an Abritel spokesman.