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France Tourism Statistics 2023

Including Tourism in Paris, Inbound & Outbound Tourist Statistics, Spend, Jobs and more!

 

Tourism in France suffered the 3rd highest tourism loss worldwide behind Spain and the U.S after the 2020 pandemic. The first 7 months of the pandemic saw a 66% drop in tourist arrivals to France and €103 billion euro drop in the contribution to the French GDP between 2019 – 2020. Paris saw the biggest hit with a €23.1 billion drop in tourism revenue.

 

France tourist numbers are recovering in 2023 with tourism growing by 12.3% in the first quarter. The biggest increase came from luxury hotels, with occupancy rising by 31.4% compared with lower-cost accommodation rising by just 2.7%. France has many key attractions which make it such an appealing destination for tourists including Disneyland with more than 15 million visitors each year and Notre Dame, attracting 13 million visitors. Read on to find out more about the French travel and tourism industry.

TOP FRANCE TOURISM STATISTICS:

 

France suffered the 3rd highest tourism losses worldwide after the 2020 pandemic, just behind Spain and the U.S.  

The tourism sector was down by 41% causing a shortfall of 61 billion euros [nearly $74.6 billion].  

Contribution to the French GDP dropped by €103 billion euros in 2020 compared with 2019.

More than 700,000 direct jobs were affected by the pandemic.

In the first seven months of 2020, there was a 66% drop in arrivals and tourism revenue fell by 50%.

The biggest tourism revenue drops were noted in Ile de France region, including Paris €23.1 billion drop.

France is recovering nicely with France tourism growing by 12.3% In Q1 2023.

Tourism revenues in France increased to 5489 million euros in April from 3945 million euros in March of 2023.

15 million people travel to EuroDisney on the outskirts of Paris.

The Louvre Museum attracts 8 million visitors per year.

Versailles Palace attracts 7.7 million visitors a year.

The Eiffel Tower receives 6.2 million visitors per year.

The most searched attraction in Google is Disneyland Paris with over 1 million searches a month.

France’s travel and tourism market size is expected to reach $19.69 billion in 2023.

French language is the world's second most learned language, being spoken by 274 million speakers.

 

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON FRENCH TOURISM

How did COVID-19 impact tourism to France?

France suffered the 3rd highest tourism losses worldwide after the 2020 pandemic, just behind Spain and the U.S.  

The tourism sector was down by 41% causing a shortfall of 61 billion euros [nearly $74.6 billion].  

Inbound tourists amounted to $32.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, nearly 50% less than the previous year.

Contribution to the French GDP dropped by €103 billion euros in 2020 compared with 2019.

In the first seven months of 2020, there was a 66% drop in arrivals and tourism revenue fell by 50%.

The biggest tourism revenue drops were noted in Ile de France region, including Paris €23.1 billion drop.

Revenue to the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region dropped by €7.2 billion.

Revenue to the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur dropped by €6.7 billion.

Revenue to Occitanie dropped by €4.5 billion.

Revenue to Nouvelle Aquitaine €4.1 billion.

Revenue to Corsica €800 million.

More than 700,000 direct jobs were affected by the pandemic. 

Outbound French travellers dropped by around 70% between 2019 and 2020. 

Business travel was the most affected dropping by 80%.

France is recovering nicely with France tourism growing by 12.3% In Q1 2023.

Overnight stays by British tourists rose 102.5%, compared to an increase of 41.7% for Germans, 9.7% for Dutch, and 62.3% for Americans

Hotel stays increased by almost 7 million in Q1 2023 to 42.6 million, up from 35.7 million in Q1 2022.

Upscale luxury hotels saw occupancy rise 31.4% while lower-cost accommodations actually saw bookings dip by 2.7%

Tourism revenues in France increased to 5489 EUR million in April from 3945 EUR million in March of 2023.

Of those who visited France in 2021, the most popular destination type was a city, with 28.3%.

21% visited the seaside.

19.4% visited the countryside.

 

Sources: Statista, AA, McKinnesy, Forbes

FRENCH TOURISM STATISTICS: INBOUND TOURIST ARRIVALS

How many tourists visit France each year?

There were 207.3 million international arrivals in France in 2017 (both day visitors and overnight).

89.3 million overnight arrivals in France in 2018 – a 3% jump from 2017.

The global number of tourists to France has more than doubled in the past 15 years.

France is now targeting 100 million foreign tourists for 2020.

The biggest increase came from Asian visitors, up 7.4% from the previous year, though Europeans still make up the bulk of foreign tourists to France, representing 79% of the total.

The majority of visitors to France come from London & The UK, with 12.7 million UK tourists arriving in France in 2017.

Paris brings in over 30 million tourists a year.

Between 15-20 million visitors come to France, to pass through to Italy and Spain.

The most popular age of tourists visiting France is 25-44 with 66.89 million in 2017.

The least popular age of tourists is 15-24 years old with 27.07 million in 2017.

68.3 million tourist arrivals came from Europe, 8.7 million arrivals came from the US, 5.9 million from Asia, 1.1 million from Oceania and 2.8 million from Africa.

In the first quarter of 2019, the number of stays in hotels and hostels declined by 2.5%, potentially a result of the yellow vest protests going on around the country.

In 2017, 70 million out of 90 million visitors were from other European countries.

In 2013, France had 1.7 million Chinese visitors, up 23.4% from the previous year and almost 10 times more than the UK during the same period.

France is popular with international students, attracting 325,000 international students a year (+12% growth over 5 years) and keeps its place of being the fourth major host country.

France inbound tourism statistics suggest that tourists entering France is on the increase. The global number of visitors has more than doubled in the past 15 years, resulting in France now aiming for 100 million foreign tourists in 2020. There is no doubt that visitors from other European countries make up a large proportion of the tourists in France with 70 million out of the 90 million visitors being from European countries. The United Kingdom is ranked as the leading international market with 12.7 million UK tourists arriving in France in 2017. The biggest increase in the number of tourists came from the Asian market, with a 7.4% rise from the previous year in 2018.

 

2019 got off to a rocky start due to yellow vest protests, however, the French government said there had only been increases in tourists’ revenues in January & February 2019.

 

Sources: Statista, The Telegraph, Entreprises, France24, WTTC, The Local, ParisDigest,  CampusFrance

FRENCH OUTBOUND TOURISM STATISTICS

What are the most popular tourist destinations for French people?

The most popular destination for French people in 2015 was New York City at 28.4% followed by Sydney at 27.3%.

53.32 million overnight trips were taken abroad from France in 2018, up from 28.51 million in 2017.

France is the 5th largest outbound market for expenditure.

In 2016, outbound tourism expenditure was 40,427 million US dollars, up annually by 5.06%.

Approximately 175 million domestic trips were taken for leisure purposes in France in 2015, this increased to 255.5 million in 2016.

There were 18.8 million trips to Europe from France in 2015.

The leading destination in Europe for outbound day trips was Belgium in 2017.

The average length of trips taken is 10.2 days, higher than Britain at 7.9 days.

French tourism statistics for outbound tourism show a significant increase in outbound overnight trips from France in 2018, up 25 million from the previous year. The most popular destinations for French people in 2015 were New York City and Sydney, both with over a quarter of France’s population making it their city of choice. The fact that all generations prefer to travel internationally does not seem to be reflected in their travel choices with 175 million domestic trips taking place in 2015, compared to the 18.8 million trips to Europe in 2015. This may be due to domestic travel being cheaper and more convenient, and France’s wide range of appeals, from the countryside to coasts and cuisine, calling for different locations to be explored for French locals. Longer international trips have declined slightly; French travellers are taking fewer trips but investing more on each trip they take.

 

SourcesStatista, The Telegraph, Entreprises, Mintel, Knoema

TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN FRANCE STATISTICS

What are the most popular tourist attractions in France?

Disneyland has around 15 million visitors a year.

France has 39 sites on Unesco's World Heritage list.

Louvre attracts 9.7 million visitors a year, more than any other museum in the world.

France had 10 million wine tourists in 2016 with a total spend of 5.2 billion euros.

Wine tourism has seen a 30% growth from 2009.

The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris and has had 5.9 million visitors in 2017.

The Notre-Dame de Paris attracts around 13.6 million tourists a year.

30 million people come to experience the ‘City of Lights’ every year.

There is no doubt that the top tourist attractions in France are big drivers for bringing tourists in to the country. Paris is renowned for its amazing architecture, museums and romantic atmosphere which may be what pulls in 30 million visitors a year. For families, Disneyland is a huge appeal with lots of entertainment and facilities to keep younger children busy. Wine tourism is on the rise with a 30% growth in visitors between 2009 and 2016. French wine gives many people incentive to visit the region, and in 2016, there was a total spend of 5.2 billion euros into the French wine tourism industry in 2016. 

 

SourcesThe Local, VisitFrenchWine, ParisDigest

DOMESTIC TOURISM IN FRANCE STATISTICS

How much money does domestic tourism bring to France?

Domestic tourism expenditure in France is expected to be 131.4 billion euros in 2028.

The domestic tourism expenditure in France in 2018 was nearly 115 billion euros.

In 2015, French tourists spent 7.2 billion euros on package holidays within France.

Out of the 60% French people who go away on holiday, 87% stay in their own country.

There is no surprise that there are high levels of domestic tourism in France, with the wide range of attractions and places to visit, the different coastal towns, countryside, and cities to explore, France itself can feel like many different countries in one. The French tend to spend their summer holidays in the Mediterranean or on the Atlantic.

 

Package holidays are also popular with domestic tourists spending 7.2 billion a year on this type of trip in 2015. With the great weather, numerous holiday parks in beautiful locations in the south of France, plus lots of facilities for children, it’s a popular market for families over the summer.

 

SourcesStatista, The Telegraph, Entreprises, Statista

TOURISM IN FRANCE: EXPENDITURE STATISTICS

How much money does tourism bring to France?

In 2016, travel and tourism contributed a total of 198.3 billion euros to GDP in France.  

International tourist expenditure in 2017 was 44.3 billion euros.

Tourist spending reached a record with a 5% increase from the previous year to 56.2 billion euros in 2019.

The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 9.7% of GDP in 2013.

Business travel spending makes up 19.5% of overall tourism and travel income in 2018.

In 2028, the annual contribution of travel and tourism to GDP is expected to reach 248.1 billion euros.

International visitors in Paris spending dropped from 19.5 billion USD in 2013 to 14.06 USD in 2018.

As France is so popular with tourists, it contributes to the French economy significantly, representing 9.7% of the GDP in 2013 and around 198.3 billion euros in 2016. This figure is predicted to increase with the annual contribution of travel and tourism expected to reach 248.1 billion euros in 2028. Wine tourism alone brought in 5.2 billion euros in 2016 and has seen growth in previous years so it is expected to keep growing and contribute more to France’s economy.  

 

SourcesStatista, The Telegraph, Entreprises, France24, WTTC

TOURISM IN FRANCE EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

How many jobs does tourism create in France?

Tourism employment created 2.8 billion jobs, both directly and indirectly in 2016.

1.2 billion jobs were made directly from tourism in 2017.

1.1 billion jobs made indirectly from tourism in 2017.

507,000 jobs were made as a result of tourism in 2017.

In 2016, Disneyland Paris employed nearly 15,200 people.

With such high tourist numbers, jobs in the French travel industry are in abundance, with Disneyland alone employing almost 15,200 people in 2016. When you think of the number of attractions in France combined, there is a huge need for employees in every type of position you can think of that work to cater for the demands and requirements of tourists. This creates a great source of employment for students and seasonal workers looking to earn income.

 

SourcesStatista

FRANCE BUSINESS TRAVEL STATISTICS

How many people travel to France on business each year?

Business tourism picked up markedly, with Paris hosting 212 international conferences last year, pushing it to the top of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings. It was a sharp jump from the 190 conventions held in 2017.

40.12 billion USD was spent on business travel in France in 2017.

The average length of a business trip in France decreased from 3.4 nights in 2011 to 3.1 nights in 2016.

Like the rest of tourism in France, business travel is on the rise with over 200 international conferences being held last year, inviting visitors from across the globe to experience French culture. Reasons for France being such an attractive location may be suitable business hours, easy accessibility via plane, Eurostar or car, due to its location in the heart of the European Union, as well as a desirable working environment. In addition, France is one of the most highly-developed countries in the world and is highly regarded as a country of culture, which may appeal to international business workers as a chance to experience the highlights of French heritage and way of life. Paris is also home to numerous headquarters, where employees from around the world may need to visit on business.

 

SourcesStatista, France24

FRANCE TOURISM ACCOMMODATION STATISTICS

Where do people stay when travelling to France?

Statistics office Insee predicted another big year for tourism. In April 2019 it had calculated 438.2 million nights were spent in hotels, campsites and youth hostels in 2018, an increase of 9 million from the previous year.

Airbnb has 65,000 listed apartments in Paris alone.

Second homes represent 70% of the tourist accommodation capacity of France.

The average number of nights spent in French hotels has remained at 1.8 from 2014-2017.

The average number of nights spent in campsites has increased from 3.7 in 2016 to 3.8 in 2017.

In 2014, the number of hotels in France was 17,336 and by 2017 had risen to 18,391.

The hotel statistics in France reflect the high number of visitors the region attracts. In 2018, there were over 438 million nights spent in French hotels, campsites and youth hostels, an increase of 9 million from the previous year. The rise in the average number of nights spent in campsites and the high number of Airbnb listings suggest that there is an increased number of visitors looking for a different accommodation experience. Although there also been an increase in the number of hotels, these accommodation alternatives act as a new option for the rising number of visitors.

 

SourcesStatista, France24, AtoutFrance