On September 24, Guy Antognelli, head of Monaco’s Tourist and Convention Authority, assessed Monaco’s latest tourist season. Even if they “exceeded expectation”, this year’s numbers are, unsurprisingly, below previous years.

In July, hotels were only 40% full, compared to a 79% occupancy rate in 2019. In August, the numbers rose to 56.5% compared to 80% in 2019, including “some exceptional days where certain establishments were over 95% booked”. This year’s clients were mainly local, with French tourists in first place, followed by Swiss and Italian visitors. Due to travel restrictions, Americans, Russians and Asian tourists were nowhere to be seen.

50,000 visitors a fortnight at the Oceanographic Museum

Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum – described by Antognelli as “the season’s single driving force” – welcomed an impressive 50,000 visitors during the first two weeks of August, compared to 60,000 in the previous year. However, while last year the museum had a capacity of 1,400 visitors at any one time, this year the number of simultaneous visitors was reduced to 700 due to the health restrictions in place.

With regards to business travel, the sector suffered from several and almost consecutive, cancellations. However, Guy Antognelli is keen to point out that “in no way did the government annul business events. It simply imposed health restrictions in accordance with the other health measures active in the Principality of Monaco, in order to reduce the virus’ circulation”. Conferences and events were cancelled by organisers either due to lack of “economic profit or lack of exhibitors”.  The Tourist and Convention Authority assured once again of their “logistic and economic” support for organisers who have decided to go through with their events.