Tourism: France Remains at the Top of Destinations

IN IMAGES – With 83 million foreigners hosted in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization, France is ahead of the United States and Spain. This performance is confirmed by statistics from the European Union on the number of overnight stays.

Tourism: France Remains at the Top of Destinations

Despite concerns about the loss of competitiveness of the French tourism industry, 2013 results are comforting. According to the World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals grew by 5% last year to a record 1.087 billion people. France remains the leader, growing more than the average (+ 6%) with 83 million foreigners welcomed, with a comfortable lead over the United States (67 million) and Spain (60.6 million). By the way, this barometer confirms that the countries of origin where the tourist expenditure explodes are China, Russia and Brazil.

The statistics of the European Union confirm the good French results in a broader approach. They concern the total number of nights spent in tourist accommodation, adding foreign tourist stays and local customers. Here again, the European market as a whole shows growth of 1.6% and even 5% when one is interested only in foreign tourists. Moreover, apart from the low recorded in 2008-2009 in the midst of the financial crisis, this figure is in perpetual growth.

Greek and Spanish competition

In this ranking of Europe at 28, France peaks at 405.2 million overnight stays far ahead of Spain (386.5), Italy (363), Germany (355.3) and the United Kingdom. United (319.9). On our own, our country weighs more than 15% of the European total! In this ranking, however, France is up slightly less (+ 1.1%) than the market average (+ 1.6%). However, it remains dynamic for the reception of foreign tourists (+ 5.6% where the local clientele is down 1%) but less than Greece (+ 13.2%) or the United Kingdom (+ 16.7% ). It also records almost half as many nights of foreign tourists (132.2 million) as the Spanish neighbor (251.9 million).

With the ups and downs of the Arab Spring, the return of European tourism in Southern Europe is confirmed by the performances of Greece and Spain. Italy, on the other hand, is one of the few countries clearly down (-4.6%), both for the reception of foreigners (-0.5%) and for the national clientele (-8.3%). ).

This European ranking also has the merit of reminding that the foreign clientele remains minority: it represents 45% of overnight stays on average, 33% in France and even only 20% in Germany. In contrast, foreign tourists account for 79% of overnight stays in Greece and 93% in Cyprus. We even reach 96% for Malta and 98% for Liechtenstein.

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