France retains tourism crown

France looks on course to reach its ambitious target of 100 million visitors per year by 2020 after figures released by the UN show that a record 89 million tourists visited these shores in 2017 – an increase of six million on 2016.

Visitor numbers had suffered in recent years follow in a series of terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere across France in 2015 and 2016, but holidaymakers are now returning in their droves.  The report from the UN’s World Tourism Organisation shows that global tourism jumped 7% last year with France well ahead of second-placed Spain. With 82.3 million tourists in 2017, Spain overtook the USA as the world’s second most popular destination, despite terror attacks of its own and independence demonstrations in Catalonia. In 2016, America welcomed 75.6 million visitors – 300,000 more than Spain. Currently, tourism generates 7% of France’s GDP although the government hopes to increase that figure to 10%.

In further good news, British magazine The Economist has voted France as its “country of the year” for 2017. The centre-left leaning political magazine gave particular praise to France for the voting in of Macron and his party La République en marche. They judged that the president, despite coming from a “party full of political novices”, had “crushed the old guard”, “swept aside the ancien régime” and “transformed the national political debate”.

According to The Economist’s website:  “Rogue nations are not eligible, no matter how much they frighten people. (Sorry, North Korea). Nor do we plump for the places that exert the most influence through sheer size or economic muscle – otherwise China and America would be hard to beat. Rather, we look for a country, of any size, that has changed notably for the better in the past 12 months, or made the world brighter.” ■

Article source:  The Bugle, Feb. 2017

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9 thoughts on “France retains tourism crown

  1. pedmar10 says:

    yes indeed since 1949 France No 1 and Paris too ::)

  2. Hi Kim,How is the BandB business doing? Did you ever run into my friend Ginger Dubau. who lives in La Forge Haute? I met her couch surfing..just a delightful woman…also a writer and translator. I am guessing that you also know Pam Wite, as you have had her on your blog. She does a writing program here in Weston, and several of my friends take it and rave about it! Unfortunately it is always full, as I would love to take it someday.I’ve no idea when I will return to France..maybe next year sometime. My daughter has returned home to Weston form Atlanta, and is my real estate partner.  Hope to see you again, as the Dordogne is lovely too!Best~Debbie (Toppan)

    • Hi Debbie – good to hear from you and saw your RE photo on FB with your daughter – good luck with your business (Holiday rental here is doing well)! Have not met either lady you mentioned; take care & hope you make it over to this side of the pond next year.

  3. Karen says:

    Wow, this is such great news. I’m so glad France is recovering its tourism. When we were there last year on the primary election day, our French friends kept talking about this guy “Macron” and how like Justin Trudeau he was. Wow, were they right! Cheers.

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