Tourist function rate

The tourist function rate is an indicator of the presence of tourists in a place. It is the ratio of “total reception capacity” to the number of inhabitants for a given scale. The “total reception capacity” is the sum of the number of beds available in classified tourist accommodation and non-classified tourist accommodation.

How does this rate help us? We believe that the calculation of the rate and its mapping are interesting (Ill. 1) to estimate the presence of tourists in a given place. If it is close to 1, it indicates that the supply of tourist beds is equal to the number of inhabitants: one bed for one inhabitant. If it is higher or much higher, it means that the supply of tourist beds can be 5, 10, 20 times higher.

However, this rate is only an estimate and is probably underestimated because, during paid holidays and the tourist season, inhabitants also go away for tourism purposes. Therefore, the ratio of tourists to inhabitants present is much higher than the calculated rate would suggest. Moreover, this rate must be viewed in the light of the total volume of accommodation available. For example, two places can have the same rate, but in one of them there are 10 beds, and in the other 10,000 beds…. This last point shows that tourism cannot be assessed based on a single criterion.

Ill. 1. The legend shows the number of beds per 100 inhabitants. The rate is calculated by simply dividing the number of beds by 100. Thus, the municipalities in dark red colours have a rate of more than 10, or between 1 and 2, representing 235 municipalities for the former and 2,667 for the latter, i.e., 0.64% and 7.3% of the total of 36,682 (source: Statistical Data and Studies Department (or SDES), Survey 2016).

Philippe DUHAMEL