Most popular international holiday cities for French people 2015

In a survey conducted by BVA in 2015, most of French people chose New York City as the foreign city they would like to visit on holiday. The Big Apple remains popular in France, despite being one of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world in 2018. New York City’s famous architecture, as well as the Statue of Liberty or Central Park, keep attracting thousands of French who want to discover the city that never sleeps.

The French dream of distant cities

It appears that when it comes to popular foreign cities, French tourists seem to have a clear preference for cities which are far from home. In this ranking, New York was followed by Sydney and Montreal. This trend follows another a ranking from 2015 about the most attractive countries for holiday. According to the French, the United States was ranked first, before Canada and Australia. However, the French are still able to dream of their European neighbors. Florence, Barcelona and Rome were among the most popular cities according to French tourists. Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy or Portugal were also among the destinations French people considered going to for summer holidays. Proximity, organization and price explain why, even if the French dream of holidays on the other side of the world, they tend to spend their holidays in Europe or even in their own country.

Reasons for travelling in France when you are French

Some regions in France, because of their pleasant living environment or their closeness to the sea, are among the most popular for French tourists. Corsica, Brittany and Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur are three very famous tourist destinations in the country. It also seems that French tourists like to spend their holidays with family of friends, which could explain why most French people plan holiday trips in their own country.

If you could go anywhere on holiday, which foreign cities would you rather go to?*

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Release date

June 2015



Survey time period

June 11 to 12, 2015

Number of respondents

989 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online interview

Supplementary notes

* This question was phrased by the source as follows: "Parmi les 20 villes étrangères suivantes où les Français préféreraient partir en vacances, vous personnellement, si vous aviez la possibilité, dans laquelle préféreriez-vous partir en vacances?"
Percentage points are exceeding 100 percent because respondents were able to give up to three answers.

The source adds the following information: "these foreign cities were spontaneously quoted as favorite destinations in a previous BVA survey carried out between June 2nd and 3rd 2015."

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