Insights & Impacts on Global Mobility during the Paris Olympics

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 9 am central time.

Watch and listen as our panel of subject-matter experts provide essential information to navigate the French market and ensure a successful relocation or assignment.

Key Topics:

  • French Rental Market
  • Social Security Registration
  • 2024 Paris Olympics & Paralympics
Navigating French Relocation Trends Webinar features panelists from WHR Global and Home Conseil


Webinar Speakers

Moderator: Sean Thrun,
Strategic Initiatives Manager, WHR Global

Panelist: Jenny Elsby,
International Client Services Manager, WHR Global

Panelist: Jérémy Berthoux,
President, Home Conseil Relocation

Moderator: Brian Fournier,
Vice President/General Manager, Expat Relocation Services

“Like I mentioned, we do expect the Olympics and Paralympics to have a significant impact on the industry and mobility programs, particularly if you have a lot of commuters who are on assignment or business travelers who regularly, you know, take the train drive, fly into Paris.

A few interesting things.

  • Paris last held the Olympics 100 years ago in 1924, so obviously a lot has changed since then. I think it’s worth saying though, that even though this will be the biggest ever event organized in France, France did have the most international visitors in 2023.
  • They had 100 million people visit the country.
  • And Paris itself was the fifth most visited city in 2023.

So, no stranger to crowds, but when we do say this is the biggest ever event organized in France, it really puts into perspective the magnitude that we’re talking because the country is used to 100 million visitors per year.”

Sean Thrun

Strategic Initiatives Manager, WHR Global

“This is such an exceptional event that you cannot necessarily look at temp housing extension and say that this is purely due to personal choices.

The budgets are so skewed because of the market, you have to look at things with a slightly different eye.

Use our advice, really your assignees are probably doing the best they can with the support of the partners you have, but the market is very, very challenging.

Brian touched a little bit on this and moving services.  There are going to be certain periods where your assignee will not be able to get their shipments delivered to their houses if they are living in central Paris. This is also going to be applicable for rental furniture.  Fortunately, there is not going to be this workaround, people are going to potentially need temporary housing outside of the site.

There are increased travel prices and delays.  Heavy traffic and limited car access near event sites.

I have an assignee in Paris who was telling me that she applied 3 weeks ago for her QR code to be able to go from her home to the office and she hasn’t gotten it yet!  We are hoping she’s going to get it.  But just as an example, she said to me “quite honestly, she can already see now that this is going to be quite a challenging summer.”

I think a lot of people who are residents will potentially be going away for their July holiday as opposed to their normal August holiday this year.  I know that Jeremy knows that very well with the August vacations.

There is also a lot of information out there, not only support from myself and the team here but there is also a lot of governmental information which we are going to share with you in a minute”

Jenny Elsby

International Client Services Manager, WHR Global

“The potential rental price decrease drop we might see is after the Olympics.  As Jenny alluded to, there is a big, big influx of properties put on the temporary housing market, rather than the normal housing market.

We are beginning to seeing landlords coming back down because they cannot really get the rate they wanted or get these properties filled for the duration of the Olympics.  So we see, a few properties come back into the “normal market.”

And I am “looking ahead into my crystal ball” because there is no indication on that, but that is how I sense the market is from the end of the Olympics and the Paralympics, between say August 15 and September 15, because the Paralympics will draw less people, we will probably see a big influx of properties on the normal market all at once.

With as Jenny alluded to, the full-blown holiday period enforced in August in France, there will be less demand for it.  So we might see a reversal, an imbalance of the market between supply and demand all at once.

This won’t be the first time in my career that I see that.  That could lead to a lowering of the prices in the rental market and the budget for assignees coming into France and Paris, around September 1.  This is the potential silver lining.”

Jérémy Berthoux

President, Home Conseil Relocation

“So, Paris has been segregated into three zones as it relates to the Olympics.

If you see in the gray area, those are the event sites on the map. And the Blue line surrounding the Gray area is called the Silt Zone, and that is the domestic security and counterterrorism zone. There’ll be no traffic allowed in and around that zone, the Red Zone.

Now the government is advising that in the Red Zone it will allow access to cycles, pedestrians, vehicles that have a pass from the Paris police. The current advice we’re receiving is that movers can apply for a permit for only essential moves.

Now, we have not been given any direction on what constitutes an essential move and the feedback that I am receiving from our moving partners in and around Paris is expected the red zone to be completely restricted to moving.

It’s going to be extremely difficult to verify that you have an essential move and, in all likelihood, it’s going to be virtually impossible to for any movement within the Red Zone.

Now Blue Zone is technically available for removal services. The movers must register in advance to get QR code, and as Jenny had alluded to earlier, getting the QR code could be a little bit of a challenge, but without the QR code, the movers would not be allowed to enter that zone.

I think we need to keep in mind and setting expectations that the situation there is fluid, and we don’t know how smoothly or not the whole situation that’s going to run.

As it relates to the potential for moving services, certainly if there’s any security concerns or issues that arise, the government can shut down all the zones completely to any kind of commercial traffic.

That said, I think the best course of action as it relates to moving household goods into or out of any of those zones, the best course of action is probably to try and schedule that outside of the time frame of the levels.”

Brian Fournier

Vice President - General Manager, Expat Relocation Solutions

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