This year, the summer vacation started Thursday, July 7, after school. A date that surprised many parents, surprised that their children were not released on a Friday evening, like every holiday period. The explanation is simple and can be found in the Education Code, more specifically in article L. 521-1, explains Le Parisien.
We can read there that “the school year comprises thirty-six weeks (excluding holidays) at least divided into five periods of work, of comparable duration, separated by four periods of class holidays.” The start of the school year having taken place on Thursday September 2, 2021, the courses therefore stopped on Thursday July 7. The long holidays will end on Thursday August 31st. Pupils will return to school on Thursday, September 1.
7 out of 10 French people went on vacation this summer. These are figures revealed by Olivia Grégoire, the Minister Delegate in charge of Tourism, during a press conference where she drew up an initial economic report for the summer. “The very good results of the summer are all the more striking as the conditions have not always been easy,” said Olivia Grégoire, relayed by AFP. The minister indeed recalled the many heat wave episodes, fires, inflation or even the lack of manpower in the hotel and catering industry.
After two years of pandemic which caused a heavy drop in turnover in the tourism sector, this is good news for the French economy. Proof of this success, SNCF sold 23 million tickets in July/August. This is an increase of 10% compared to the period before the pandemic. This summer, 35 million French people went on vacation.
The month of July already offers a first trend in the behavior of the French in this summer of 2022. With a first lesson: the effects of the health crisis seem to be gradually fading and we are returning to a balance sheet close to what we could see before the Covid. Foreign tourists are thus back in France and the French have also chosen to leave France for a good dose of rest and a change of scenery. In particular the wealthiest since 35% of CSPs have gone abroad, indicates Atlantico. Unsurprisingly, they turn to sunny destinations and in particular the Mediterranean basin (Spain, Greece etc.).
Urban tourism has regained strength, as in Paris or Lyon. Here again, a sign of a post-Covid turning point. The terrible fires that hit the Arcachon basin in particular had a disastrous impact on the tourist season in this region.
In general, the month of July started very strongly in France before experiencing more contrasting weeks.
For many French people, holidays are not synonymous with departure. According to figures from the Observatory of Inequalities, published on July 6, 2022, 54% of French people have gone or will go on vacation this summer. 20 years ago, they were 58%.
Lack of income is one of the reasons for not leaving; but not the only one. Some French people are forced to stay at home because of health problems, while for others, it is their professional activity that prevents them from leaving. Some are also retained by a relative, whom they must take care of, then others do not leave by personal choice.
Beyond the financial aspect, in terms of the number of vacation days, the little French are not the best off in France. Indeed, the summer school holidays are 7 weeks in France, against 11 in Spain or Sweden. Thus, France is below the average of 12 weeks of holidays for European countries. According to the map revealed by BFMTV, Latvian students who have the highest number of weeks of vacation with almost 3 months without lessons. Switzerland, on the other hand, is the country with the fewest summer holidays, ie 5 weeks.
For Benjamin Lucas, environmental deputy of the New Union Populaire Ecologique et Sociale, since Nicolas Sarkozy’s famous slogan “Work more to earn more”, the representation of free time in politics in France is dangerous. On France Culture, he condemns policies that tend to conceive rest time in a negative way. “We see it with the monetization of RTT and the tax exemption of overtime, in our society of performance, free time is increasingly condemned by a segment of the political class. At the same time, it becomes again today more and more a privilege”, specifies the deputy.
A summer like no other. Deprived of spring break this year, the French would like to be able to take advantage of their two months of summer. The deconfinement, started on Monday May 11, will allow the French to leave in July and August? Will we still have to respect barrier gestures, avoid going to certain areas? As the summer holidays are fast approaching, the government has not yet decided all these questions. An unknown remains, that of travel abroad: will we be able to leave France this summer and, if so, when? Where can we go? Will we be subject to a quarantine period?
The summer holidays will take place. The government hesitated, for a time, to postpone these holidays or to shorten them, the pupils having been absent from schools for more than two months because of the confinement. Finally, for the time being, the school holidays keep the planned dates and will indeed last eight weeks. The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, assured on BFMTV on April 29 that the dates of the school holidays would be unchanged. “In a period where everything is changing, it is important to maintain certain benchmarks”.
This year 2020, French schoolchildren’s holidays therefore begin on Saturday July 4, 2020 and end on Tuesday September 1, 2020. Common to all zones A, B and C, this period will therefore end with the start of the school year on Tuesday, September 1. The All Saints holidays will be spread out for all zones from Saturday October 17 to Monday November 2, 2020. The Christmas holidays will begin on Saturday December 19 and end on Monday January 4, 2021.
The dates of the holidays for the year 2021 are already known! The February holidays will be spread out:
Spring break dates:
If the summer holidays are well maintained this year for the French, there is no question for them of planning a world tour. The government has warned several times since the end of confinement that holidaymakers will have to plan a destination in France for the months of July and August. At the end of April, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State in charge of Tourism said he was “convinced that the French will want France”. “I hope that they can support hoteliers, restaurateurs, leisure activities, heritage sites that make up the wealth of our territories”, he added then in the columns of Parisian. A speech also given by the Minister of Ecological Transition Elisabeth Borne and by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
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The French seem to have listened to the government because, according to a Liligo.com survey unveiled by LCI, 60% of French people intend to go on vacation this summer. 41% of people questioned and who wish to leave for their holidays plan to stay in France, when 37% want to go elsewhere in the world, 33% in Europe. Asked by the television channel, the marketing director of Liligo explains that “the French felt very frustrated at the idea of not being able to enjoy during the Easter holidays”. “Currently requests for keywords like ‘holiday rental’ are exploding. The same is true for booking sites. They do not prefer to think of a second wave. Future holidaymakers intend to make up for lost time” , he adds to LCI. If rental platforms are exploding in France, some have preferred to opt for abroad.
For several weeks, the French had to restrict their movements and, at the start of deconfinement, they were subject to a limit of 100 kilometers. Does this rule continue to apply for this summer? No, the French will be able to go on vacation more than 100 kilometers from home and outside their department of residence.
The vagueness has long persisted on the possibility, for the French, of going on vacation abroad. Thursday June 4 on Euronews, European Commissioner Ylva Johansson called for all restrictions at the internal borders of the European Union to be lifted: “I am going to propose that the Member States lift all internal border controls as soon as possible and I think that a good date would be the end of June (…) European citizens would really like to regain their freedom of movement”.
The following day, Friday June 5, during a videoconference meeting, the various European interior ministers agreed to coordinate for the reopening of all the borders of the Schengen area and the external borders. According to the European Council, the reopening of the external borders will not be effective before July 1, at the earliest. During a press conference, the Croatian Secretary of State clarified that “this reopening to travelers from countries outside the Schengen area and the EU must be done in a coordinated, proportionate and non-discriminatory way”.
The internal and external borders of the European Union could be reopened before the summer, but the French still have to be authorized to go to certain countries. Many European states have already announced the date for the reopening of their borders.
The United Kingdom, if it reopens its borders, will impose a fortnight period on foreign travelers, but this measure will be reassessed every three weeks.
Going on vacation this summer, okay, but how? Should we favor the car this summer? Will train and air travel be possible? According to the Liligo.com survey unveiled by LCI, a large majority of French people plan to fly for their holidays this summer. They are thus 67% to want to travel by air, against 34% who will use their car. The train comes far behind since only 9% of French people plan to go on holiday by train, ahead of carpooling, an option chosen by 1% of those questioned.
Holidays: everything that changes for your summerThe Prime Minister spoke to the French on May 28. He spoke in particular about the summer holidays and what the crisis will allow (or not) to do.
Airlines were almost at a standstill during the two months of confinement. For several weeks, some have resumed some of their flights as airports have reopened to the public. Orly airport, in the south of Paris, has announced that flights with passengers will be able to resume from June 26. Several companies have announced a resumption of their flights from June 15, 2020 to certain destinations, which will gradually increase in the coming weeks.
A closed place par excellence, the plane will have to adapt this summer, while the virus is still circulating in several European countries, and in particular in France. On Tuesday June 2, the International Civil Aviation Organization published its recommendations for air travel. Each passenger will be required to provide a health declaration when they arrive at the airport, where their temperature will be checked. Check-ins will have to be done online and passengers will be asked to travel with as little luggage as possible. Wearing a mask will be compulsory throughout the airport, as will social distancing of one meter between each person.
Once on the plane, each traveler must wear their mask and move as little as possible in the aircraft. The toilets will always be accessible, but delimited according to the different seats on the plane. Food served during the trip will be pre-packaged. In its recommendations, the International Civil Aviation Organization recommends keeping passengers as far away as possible, but does not make it mandatory to condemn one in two seats.
Train travel remained possible throughout the lockdown and at the start of deconfinement, although far fewer journeys were then possible. SNCF announced at the end of May that traffic would be completely normal from the middle of June. It is therefore possible to book your ticket now for this summer. “We are removing the restriction of one seat out of two”, specified the Secretary of State for Transport at the time. Wearing a mask “is compulsory as soon as you enter the station and throughout your journey, whether it lasts two hours, three hours or more,” said Jérôme Laffon, marketing director of SNCF Voyages, to Parisian.
Where can we stay this summer? After more than two months of closure, tourist accommodation, i.e. campsites, holiday villages, open-air residences and hostels reopened on Saturday June 2 in the departments in the green zone. Establishments located in orange zones will have to wait until June 22 to be able to welcome customers again. Hotels could stay open during the lockdown, which some did. They can still welcome the public, but respect a large number of sanitary rules, in the rooms and in the common areas.
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Those who do not want to reserve a pitch at the campsite this summer will be able to turn to other solutions, in particular a gîte. Reservations for these accommodations have increased sharply in recent weeks, with many French people preferring to opt for an individual solution and often far from cities or very touristy places.
Holidaymakers wanting to favor individual accommodation also looked at the Air BnB reservation platform, which allows them to reserve a room or accommodation for an individual for a defined period. In April and May, the French were particularly looking for destinations in France and, if possible, not far from their home. Unsurprisingly, holidaymakers favored seaside resorts for the months of July and August.
The French have started to book their summer holidays, but where will they go? If many of them want to stay in France, they do not choose the same destination. According to a survey by the BVA firm revealed by Le Figaro, 54% of those questioned plan to go to the seaside in July or August. 24% prefer to rent something in the countryside and 12% have opted for a summer in the mountains.
Wishing to escape the hubbub of the coast in July and August, many French people have decided to spend their summer holidays in the mountains. If they can forget the snow this season, holidaymakers will still be able to enjoy magnificent landscapes conducive to beautiful hikes. As for accommodation, there is something for everyone: from the independent chalet to the holiday club where everything is included. You choose !
As the BVA survey for Le Figaro clearly shows, a majority of French people will opt for holidays by the sea this summer. Whether it’s the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, many people are just waiting for one thing: lounging on the beach, taking a boat trip, playing in the sand or playing a sport. nautical.
What would a summer be without a swimming pool? If they will be able to welcome the public again, the swimming pools will have to adapt. Authorized to reopen since June 2 in green areas and from June 22 in orange departments, swimming pools are adapting their operation. Before going there, customers must reserve a time slot of one and a half hours online, in order to avoid excessive crowds. The collective locker rooms are closed, one in two showers and lockers are condemned, in order to limit exchanges between people. Before entering the pool, you are also obliged to wash your hands. The jacuzzis, like the paddling pools for children, are closed until further notice.
This environmental and tourist label guarantees holidaymakers that the beaches or ports frequented combine tourism and sustainable development. Blue Flag also takes into account criteria that will make your holidays much more enjoyable: water quality, clean beaches, waste management, accessibility for people with reduced mobility… In France, you are spoiled for choice: 401 beaches and 106 marinas have received the label.