Travel and tourism in France - Statistics & Facts

Home to world-famous sites and host to major international events, France is a leading tourist market for the European travel industry. Both domestic and international tourism have a significant impact on the French economy. In 2016 travel and tourism contributed a total of 198.3 billion euros to GDP in France, while tourism employment created 2.8 billion jobs, both directly and indirectly.

Receiving roughly 200 million international visitors a year, France ranks as a leading destination for international tourism. The capital, Paris, is one of the most visited city destinations in Europe and the world. International tourist spending in the city alone came to around 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Although most visitors to France travel from other European countries, Asian tourists have added to the growing number of foreign visitors; In 2015 figures showed a 25 percent rise in tourists arriving from the region.

France’s geographical location, bordering other Western European countries and with additional tunnel and ferry connections, offer various opportunities for residents to travel around Europe. Residents of France take a total of around 200 million trips each year for leisure purposes, both within France and abroad. For same-day return trips, Belgium, Spain and Germany are among the most popular destinations.

Although there are many options for outbound travel, resident spending on holiday and recreational travel within France is much higher. Approximately 175 million domestic trips were taken for leisure purposes in 2015. Although this was a decline on the previous year, domestic travel expenditure is expected to increase in 2017 and into the future.

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