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Seine overflow: river boatowners expect a 40% drop in revenues

they are requesting exceptional funds


Rédigé par Michèle Sani translated by Joséphine Foucher le Dimanche 19 Juin 2016

Following the exceptional episode of the overflow, cruises on the Seine are picking up again but slowly. 2016 will be remembered as one of the most catastrophic years for river boatowners of the Ile-de-France region. The sector is expecting a drop of almost 40% in revenues between November 2015 and May 2016 compared to last year’s figures, a number that doesn’t fully account for the halt of all operations during 10 days in June.



The Seine and Eiffel Tower seen on June 14th from the Bateaux Mouches dock. A low sky. The Seine has still not reached its normal level. Some cruising companies are resuming their routes - Photo MS
The Seine and Eiffel Tower seen on June 14th from the Bateaux Mouches dock. A low sky. The Seine has still not reached its normal level. Some cruising companies are resuming their routes - Photo MS
Weakened since November 13, 2015, just like the other branches of Parisian tourism, the branch of river boatowners of Paris and the Ile-de-France region was impacted by the strikes and shortage of fuel.

The brutal overflow of the Seine - nearly 2 meters in one day - was the final blow.

Taoufiq El Amrani, the Executive Director of River Boatowners of Bateaux Mouches, explains: “the overflow arrived at the worst time, six months after November 13 just when after a few months of crisis we were finally seeing a slight recovery. To replenish our treasury we were counting on the Easter Holidays; the Euro 2016 and the month of June that records the highest number of clients.

We had the strikes, the lack of fuel and the exceptional Seine overflow which provoked the complete halt of activity and operations in both the touristic and industrial branches.”

Nearly 40% drop in revenues

2016 will be remembered as one of the most catastrophic years for river boatowners.

The sector is expecting a drop of nearly 40% in revenues between November 2015 and May 2016 compared to the previous year, a result that does not fully account for the complete stop of all operations during 10 days in June.

The river tourism branch of Paris was the first to recover its operations on June 10th due to the Euro 2016. A recovery at a degrading rhythm: as I’m writing this article, the level of the Seine has not yet recovered the level needed for navigation.

The return to normal and a recovery of all activities will take time because they depend on many operating factors, such as the state of the boats, the docks, networks, infrastructures, restaurants, welcome desks, ticket sales, etc…

Lots of equipment was damaged. Some will need to be rebuilt. Some sites and operators will require a few weeks if not months to be fully operational again.

The Seine is more visited than the Eiffel Tower

Press conference with river shipowners: From left to right: Taoufiq El Amrani Executive Director of Bateaux Mouches, Francis Lambert (State Secretary of Tourism), Didier Leandri President of the River Shipowners Committee, Jean-François Martins (Paris Cityhall),  Francis Navaro (substitutes for David Douillet vice-president of the Ile-de-France region),  Marc Papinutti Executive Director of Voies Navigables de France, Olivier Jamey President of the Harbor Community of Paris. - Photo MS
Press conference with river shipowners: From left to right: Taoufiq El Amrani Executive Director of Bateaux Mouches, Francis Lambert (State Secretary of Tourism), Didier Leandri President of the River Shipowners Committee, Jean-François Martins (Paris Cityhall), Francis Navaro (substitutes for David Douillet vice-president of the Ile-de-France region), Marc Papinutti Executive Director of Voies Navigables de France, Olivier Jamey President of the Harbor Community of Paris. - Photo MS
France has a fleet of 500 river cruise boats with 250 operators accounting for 10 million passengers in the country as whole.

When all is well, the Seine in Paris - listed as the number one interior harbor in the world - represents 8 million tourists (which is more than the Eiffel Tower), 100,000 trucks less on the roads, 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, around sixty medium and small companies, and nearly 500 million euros in revenues generated annually.

In 2016, these numbers will not be met.

In this respect, the branch that suffers a heavy shortfall and must face heavy rehabilitation work is asking public authorities to recognize a state of natural disaster and allocate exceptional funds to directly help the companies.

To save the season a promotion campaign has been launched aimed tourism professionals from several emitting markets such as the UK, Australia, the U.S, China, and Korea.

They are also aiming at the MICE sector.

There is one positive point that the branch and its partners are proud of: during this overflow, no accidents were reported on or between the boats.


Crue de la Seine : les armateurs fluviaux prévoient une baisse de 40% de leur chiffre d'affaires

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