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Tourist numbers: A positive first half for Reunion Island

Written by editor

The first half of 2015 shows the results of tourist numbers on the rise on Reunion Island.

The first half of 2015 shows the results of tourist numbers on the rise on Reunion Island. With an increase of 5.3% since the beginning of the year, Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) lifted the veil on these positive results.

Reunion Island has been increasing its visibility and attractiveness to its European markets and those of the Indian Ocean area. With growth of 5.3% in the first half of 2015, the number of foreign tourists reached 197,400, thus approaching the best figures ever observed since the tourist attendance record of the island in 2011 (471,000 tourists over the year).

Tourist traffic of customers from mainland France represents 77% of tourists accommodated on Reunion Island. The customer remains the main destination market and saw its numbers increase, reaching a volume of 152,000 tourists in the first half 2015 (+3,000).

Tourist traffic of customers from Europe increased by 17%, a volume of 14,400 tourists (+2,000 people in the first half 2015). This clientele, mainly from Germany and Switzerland, represents a target with high purchasing power, prized by all destinations.

Tourist traffic of customers from the Indian Ocean area increased by 25%, or a total of 26,300 visitors (+5,000 people in the first half 2015).

Although the so-called customer affinity remains stable, with a volume of 100,200 tourists, there is a net increase in leisure tourism with 64,300 tourists, more than 3,300 people compared to 2014. Business tourism, meanwhile, is up 23% (+24,600 persons in the first half 2015).

Note that 84% of these tourists are not native of Reunion Island, despite a share of a 51% of leisure tourists.


With an average duration of a 17-day stay on Reunion Island, and although the majority of foreign tourists are hosted by relatives or friends (101,900 persons concerned, or 52%), the listed hotel pulls out of the game and is up 9% – nearly 40,600 additional tourists. This is a boon for this type of accommodation which captures external clientele eager for a premium service. Other types of accommodation such as seasonal rentals incurred a decrease of 2% of their attendance.

Tourism expenditures represent €141 million, an increase of 4% – progress that benefits mainly the sectors of accommodation and catering.


Whether it be the markets of France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, China, or India, the IRT is implementing various operations and works in partnership and/or in collaboration with professionals in these markets.

Markets France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany:

• Realization of educational tours, training, commercial canvassing, and strong promotional campaigns with tour operators.

• Development of a policy and MICE groups welcome (Net Managers, Selectour Afat, Volkswagen).

• Realization of advertising campaigns in major European cities and in the provinces, coupled with operations on social networks.

• Communication from the image on the fleet of Air Austral to Europe, the Indian Ocean area, and the great Indian Ocean.

Markets South Africa, China and India:

• Establishment of facilities for obtaining visas for Chinese and Indian clients.

• Establishment of campaigns and establishment of partnerships with tour operators.

• Realization of educational tours and training of travel agents.

• Organization of roadshows.

• Participation in targeted consumer shows.


The number of tourists on the island mainly depends on the ability to be able to provide a number of relevant enough seats to allow the visit to Reunion Island. The first half saw tourist numbers grow with proposals of advantageous airfares and additional seating to meet growing demand, especially from Lyon or Marseille.