France is the number one country in the world for tourism.
Did you know that the country had 218 million international arrivals in 2019?
Or that Disneyland Paris, not the Eiffel Tower, is the most visited tourist attraction in France?
With the City of Lights as its capital, the charming countryside, and beautiful language, it’s undoubtedly also one of the best romantic destinations out there.
In 2022, France was also the most sought after destination for Gen Z and millennial travellers.
If you wanted to understand more about things like France tourism income and why tourists visit France, you’re in the right place.
Below are the most interesting and important statistics about travel and tourism in France.
Let’s jump right in.
Sources: Attached with each stat is the source article or data. For a full list of all the sources used, head to the bottom of the post.
What country is #1 in tourism?
With 90 million international tourists in 2019 alone, France is the leading country in terms of tourism, way ahead of Spain (81.8 million), the US (76.9 million), and China (60.7 million).
How many tourists visit France per year?
218 million international tourist arrivals were recorded in France in 2019, but this number fell to just 117 million arrivals in 2020.
On the other hand, it’s interesting that merely 2.97% of French baby boomers travel overseas.
How many people visit the Eiffel Tower in a year?
In 2017, a total of 6.2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower. Despite being the country’s most iconic landmark, it’s surprisingly not the most visited tourist attraction in France.
What percentage of France’s economy is tourism?
The travel and tourism industry contributed 211 billion euros to French GDP in 2019.
International tourism spending alone made up 7.92% of the country’s total export.
France Tourism Key Statistics
- In 2020, there were 117 million international tourist arrivals in France, a huge decrease from the 218 million recorded in 2019.
- In 2020, an overwhelming majority of international tourists in France (40 million people) were from Europe.
- 53.3 million outbound trips made from France in 2018.
- The number of domestic overnight visitors in France was 186 million in 2019.
- The travel and tourism industry contributed 211 billion euros to French GDP.
- Travel and tourism in France is predicted to directly contribute around 104.3 billion euros to the country’s GDP in 2028.
- In 2019, the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment in France was 2.69 million jobs.
- France welcomes approximately 11 million international business tourist arrivals every year.
- Hotels are the most common type of vacation rental in France, with more than 17 thousand establishments in 2022.
Inbound tourism in France
How many tourists visit France per year?
1. In 2020, there were 117 million international tourist arrivals in France, a huge decrease from the 218 million recorded in 2019.
2. In terms of overnight visits in France, there were 91 million inbound arrivals in 2019.
3. France is the world’s leading tourist destination.
France has been the most visited country in the world for 30 years. In 2018, its 89.4 million international tourists surpassed Spain (81.8 million), the US (76.9 million), and China (60.7 million).
4. Meanwhile, out of the 90 million inbound arrivals in 2018, a majority arrived by land transport.
This includes road transport like car rentals and buses, as well as trains, and this figure could be explained as France is a popular destination for European travelers.
5. Air and water transportation ranked second and third for international arrivals in France in 2018, with 28 million and 6 million arrivals respectively.
6. In 2020, an overwhelming majority of international tourists in France (40 million people) were from Europe.
7. In comparison, only 1.7 million tourists from the Americas visited France.
8. Indeed, the leading inbound travel market for France is the UK, with 13 million visiting France in 2018 alone.
There were 13 million UK residents visiting France in 2018, making the UK the leading inbound travel market for France.
9. The average international tourist in France stays for nearly a week during their visit.
French outbound tourism statistics
How many trips do French people take every year?
10. In 2018, there were 53.3 million outbound trips made from France.
11. That was an incredible increase from the 28.4 million outbound trips taken from France in 2017.
12. The continent to which French residents travel the most is Europe, with 19 million leisure trips made in 2017 to countries within Europe.
In 2019 particularly, 357,000 French tourist arrivals were recorded in Venice.
13. In 2021, 95.6% of outbound tourists from France traveled to Europe, representing approximately 14 million trips.
This shows that French residents preferred short-haul destinations due to the existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.
14. In 2018, 16.22 million international trips were made from France by air, compared to 9.68 million trips by land.
15. Leisure day trips are popular among French residents, who made 3 million same-day trips for leisure purposes to Belgium and 283 thousand trips to the UK.
16. A 2015 survey showed that tourists from France spent more than 25.1 billion euros for their travel abroad per year.
This includes backpackers. France is the third largest source of backpackers in Australia (7.76%).
17. The average expenditure per outbound French tourist in 2021 was $2,025.5, making them the ninth most valuable outbound source market.
18. A 2021 survey revealed that 56% of French tourists go on a sun and beach holiday, which is in line with the worldwide average of 57%.
Domestic tourism in France
How often do French residents travel domestically?
19. The total number of domestic trips in France fluctuated between 2008 and 2019, hitting record-high in 2017 with 277 million domestic trips.
20. In 2020, this number fell by around 50% to just 138 million domestic trips in France.
Covid-19 had drastically decreased the number of domestic trips taken in France.
21. The number of domestic overnight visitors in France was 186 million in 2019.
22. In comparison, day trips are less popular with 85 million same-day trips made in France in 2017 by domestic travelers.
23. The number of same-day trips dropped in 2020, reaching only 60 million excursionists, the lowest level since 2006.
24. In 2020, leisure-related domestic trips in France experienced the biggest decline, falling from almost 167 million in 2019 to below 140 million in 2020.
25. The average duration of a domestic trip made by French residents is 5.22 days.
This average duration was calculated from 2020 data.
26. For domestic French trips, the most popular transportation type is land, typically by road or rail.
27. The second and third most popular transportations are by air and water, recording 2.5 million and below 500 thousand, respectively, domestic trips in 2020.
Economic impact of tourism in France
What percentage of French economy is tourism?
28. In 2019, the travel and tourism industry contributed 211 billion euros to French GDP.
29. This fell significantly in 2020 to 108 billion euros of GDP contribution, which is a 49% decline.
This dramatic drop could be explained by the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected not only France but also tourism in Europe and rest of the world.
30. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to French GDP has remained relatively stable between 2012 and 2018, hitting 85.1 billion euros in 2018.
direct travel contribution to French GDP
31. Travel and tourism in France is predicted to directly contribute around 104.3 billion euros to the country’s GDP in 2028.
32. In 2019, international tourism receipts in France amounted to $70.8 billion.
International tourism receipts refer to expenditures made by international inbound visitors. This includes international transport and other prepayment for goods and services purchased in France.
33. Unfortunately, international tourist spending fell by 49.19% to just $36 billion in 2020.
34. In 2018 and 2019 each, international tourism spending made up 7.92% of the country’s total export.
Unfortunately, in 2020, the percentage dropped to 4.73% of France’s export. This is once again the result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
35. The average international tourist in France spent $325 in 2019.
This is a significant drop from the $812 average in 2018. It can be explained by the slight decline in international tourism receipts despite the major increase in number of tourists.
36. In the meantime, French tourists spent an increasing amount in their country since 2012, reching over 115 billion euros in 2019.
37. Of course, this number also declined in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, hitting only 58 billion euros.
Employment in French tourism
How many people are employed in travel and tourism in France?
38. In 2019, the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment in France was 2.69 million jobs.
39. However, in 2020, the total number of employment contribution in the French travel and tourism industry declined to 2.5 million.
40. In terms of direct contribution, France recorded about 1.19 million travel and tourism jobs in 2017.
41. Travel and tourism is forecasted to directly contribute to employment by generating approximately 1.47 million jobs in France in 2028.
42. Disneyland Paris employs over 16,000 people from 124 different countries, speaking 20 languages in 500 different roles.
According to Disneyland Paris statistics, the company employs more than 16,000 employees (or Cast Members) for their 500 job classifications. They come from 124 nationalities and speak 20 languages.
Business travel in France
Are there many business travelers in France?
43. France welcomes approximately 11 million international business tourist arrivals every year.
There are around 11 million business visitors in France each year.
44. Among the G20 member countries, the expenditure of business tourists in France is the fifth highest at $23 billion.
45. In 2021, business travel spending made up 16% of the total tourism spending in comparison to leisure travel spending at 84%.
46. France recorded the least number of business overnight stays in April 2020, with only 800 thousand recorded.
During the pandemic, more people worked from home and therefore fewer of them traveled for business purposes.
47. In 2019, 750 trade shows and fairs were held in France.
48. Meanwhile, there were 2,800 congresses in France in 2019.
49. Out of all visitors in France in 2019, 52 million of them participated in corporate and institutional events.
French tourism top attractions
What is the most visited thing in France?
50. Wine tourism in France has grown by over 30% from 2009 to 2016.
Wine tourism includes visits to wine cellars, wine-making experiences, staying in vineyards or chateaux, wine academy conferences or courses, as well as hikes through vineyards.
51. In 2016, the country welcomed 10 million wine tourists.
52. The largest groups of wine tourists in France (almost 50% of the international visitors) are from Belgium and the UK.
53. 50 million tourists visited Paris in 2019, making in the most visited country in the world.
Paris received 50 million tourists in 2019. It’s ahead of London and New York City in terms of the world’s most visited city.
54. The main reasons for visiting Paris is to sightsee and go shopping.
55. The most visited site in France is Disneyland, which welcomed nearly 14.9 million visitors in 2017 alone.
56. The second most visited tourist attraction in France is the Louvre Museum with just over 8 million visitors.
57. It is followed closely by Versailles Palace (7.7 million) and the Eiffel Tower (6.2 million).
Travel accomodation in France
How many hotels are there in France?
58. In 2018, 442.76 million nights were spent in French travel accommodations, an increase from 2017.
59. In Paris alone, there are 56 five-star hotels, making it the city with the fourth highest number of five-star hotels in the world.
As the capital city and hub of the country’s travel and tourism, Paris has 56 five-star hotels.
60. Despite the popularity of France as a travel destination, the number of travel accommodation establishments in the country has been relatively stable between 2009 until 2020, remaining in the 28 to 30 thousand range.
61. Tourist hotels are the most common type of travel accommodation in France, with more than 17 thousand establishments in 2022.
Hotels remain the most
62. With 8,139 establishments, campsites are the next most popular type of travel accommodation in France.
31% of RV owners in 2021 were first-time owners, and the increasing number of RV users means that campsites will grow even more in popularity.
This high number also supports the statistics that France has contributed to why Europe is the dominating force in the global glamping market, with 35.11% of the market share.
63. They are followed by holiday residences, holiday village and family homes, and youth hostels and holding centres.
Holiday villages and family homes are the fourth most common type of travel accommodation in paris, revealing that family trips are also prevalent in French tourism.
64. Monthly arrivals in hotels in France tend to peak during the summer months, specifically in August.
65. French hotels received barely ten million arrivals in August 2020, which is lower than the usual 13 million.
66. From 2011 to 2016, the number of nights spent in hotels in metropolitan France was relatively stable, and then rose significantly until reaching almost 215 million nights in 2019.
67. Unlike the rising trend of travel accommodation in France overall, French residents were actually spending fewer nights in accommodation establishments between 2012 and 2018.
68. France is the country with the second highest number of active Airbnb listings (610,765).
There are 610,765 Airbnb listings in France, making it the country with the second most active listings after the United States.
69. With 27,677 establishments, France is the country with second highest number of travel sustainable accommodations on Booking.com.
France has the second most number of travel sustainable properties, with 27,677 such listings on Booking.com.
For the last three decades, France remains the most popular tourist destination in the world. Its capital, Paris, is also one of the most visited cities.
Travel and tourism have always been a huge part of the country’s economy, as shown by its table contribution to French GDP.
If you’re planning to visit and book your travels to France, we hope these statistics are insightful!
Did we miss any crucial infos?
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published 2023-10-10 12:34:20