During the first eight months of the year, tourist arrivals in France increased by 2.3%, according to data provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, during the joint Council of Ministers.
The figures are considered “very satisfactory” and are explained mainly by the international tourism, which increased its arrivals by 6.3% in comparison to the same period of the previous year, while domestic demand stagnated, with a slight 0.6% improve, and even reporting a decline in July.
According to the Ministry, these data bolster “the decisive contribution of international and European tourism to the growth of the sector’s revenues in France.” Moreover, the number of French people who traveled abroad also increased.
It’s worth mentioning that, in 2017, France had a record of 89 million foreign tourist arrivals, which represented a clear recovery after the sharp drop experienced in 2016 due to the impact of the terrorist attacks.
The French Government expects to receive 100 million foreign arrivals by 2020, which would represent 60 billion euros in revenues, and has committed to increase the investment in the sector by 20%.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs recalled that tourism has become a priority for the current Executive, and attributed the positive figures of international tourism to the measures implemented, such as issuing of visas in 48 hours, the considerable decrease of waiting times at airports, and “a maximization of effects from major sporting events.”
Another factor that explains this growth is the boom in the multi-sectoral tourism model, especially the wine industry, whose average expenditure per visitor grew by a 10.7%.
In full debate on tourism models and massification, the Government promised “to maintain its efforts to promote more diversified destinations and actions that benefit all regions.”
The Interministerial Tourism Council (CIT) will outline in March 2019 a new set of initiatives to favor employment and training, especially focused on the hotel and restaurant industry.
“The objective is to improve the adequacy between demand for labor and educational offer, as well as the international projection of the training centers,” the Ministry said in a statement.