Paris and the Olympics: more than just a night out in Paris

The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially called the 33rd Games of the Olympic Games and popularly known as Paris 2024, is scheduled to take place in Paris, France from July 26 to August 11, 2024. The capital city, 16 other main host cities across the country, and a secondary venue in Tahiti, an island in the French overseas territory of French Polynesia, are all set for the prestigious Games.

The city is gearing up to welcome over 15 million visitors during the event, a massive 30 percent increase compared to last year.

The rise in sports tourism is fuelling the entire travel industry, with Indians at the forefront of this emerging traveller segment.

Read also: Uber to offer Seine River cruises, Paris day trips during Olympics

“Sports tourism has emerged as a major driver for the Indian market with prices increasing by around 20-35 per cent, especially for high-profile matches like cricket, tennis (Wimbledon, Australian Open), football and the Olympics,” Daniel D'Souza, president and head of country holidays at SOTC Travel, told CNBC-TV18.

The rise in sports tourism is fuelling the entire travel industry, with Indians at the forefront of this emerging traveller segment.

However, he highlighted that one of the major changes the company has witnessed in its 75-year history is the entry of younger travellers: “The average age of our customers has dropped by about 10 years and we are seeing an increased interest in experiential travel. This growth is driven by a burgeoning middle class, a growing desire for unique experiences and the rise of the High Net Worth Individuals (HNI) and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNI) segments,” he explained.

Also read: Rs 40-crore tour package for Paris 2024 Olympics promises exclusive interaction with athletes and more

“Due to increasing demand, we [SOTC] We also design itineraries for the HNI-UHNI segment, focusing on gastronomic, art and cultural experiences in and around Paris, such as Cordon Bleu certification courses, wine tasting and food pairing in vineyards in Champagne (Reims-Epernay), horse riding at sunset on the beaches of Deauville, cycling trips around Versailles with its beautiful gardens, markets and spectacular palaces, and dinner cruises on the Seine.

Meanwhile, Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE and Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited, revealed, “Consumer data trends for 2024 indicate a 40% surge in demand for major global sporting events, topped by Cricket World Series, Wimbledon, Olympics and Formula 1 (Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore etc).”
“Today's digital economy and social sharing are equally powerful drivers of growth, and with them comes undeniable bragging rights of attending such a premium sporting event.”

“The key segments for us are Indian fans and fan clubs, special friend groups and also the strong corporate MICE sector which opts for exclusive VIP boxes, ultra-premium hospitality packages and experiences. We are designing exclusive options like meet and greets, dining with sports stars, autographed merchandise etc. What is really encouraging is that Indians have shown their willingness to spend on such premier sporting events with one of our premium programmes for the Olympics going up to Rs 1.1 lakh per head for a customer group of about 50 people.

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