Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Tourists flock to Corsica in 2009

Economic crisis? What economic crisis? Without wishing to sound un peu smug, I feel obliged to point out that a prediction I made last year (Oct 8th 2008) has come true. It seems that Corsica has enjoyed a record season for tourism despite the world’s unfavourable economic circumstances.

By the time the 2009 season ends, some 2,690,000 people will have taken their holidays on my favourite island – representing an amazing 28 million “people-nights”. According to projections made recently by the Agence de Tourisme de la Corse, 2009 will enjoy a 5% increase on the excellent tourist figures recorded in 2008 (source: Corse Matin – 22nd September 2009).

Although I enjoy Corsica’s empty beaches like the rest of you, I rejoice in the economic success that these figures represent, for all kinds of reasons. The forecasters reckon that by the time that Corsica’s October sighs exhaustedly to a close, some 1.3 billion euros will have been spent. Contrast that with the 1 billion euros spent here in the same period last year, and that’s a real shot in the arm for the local economy. Many of these euros will eventually roll down into the pockets of local people – and that’s got to be good news for everyone who loves Corsica.

And for my next prediction? It’s that Corsican wine will become a good deal more popular internationally than it is now. With competition from California, Australia and others, the French wine industry will need to look for local heroes, and where better to look than the artisan wine producers of Ajaccio, Calvi and Patrimonio with their unfamiliar cépages and unique, hot microclimates?

And that, by the way, would make Corsica slightly less dependent on tourism for its economic welfare. Watch this space.

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