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Tourism: 2023, a record year for France

25 January 2024 Come back to France
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Before 2024, a year that may be exceptional, 2023 may be a record year for France in terms of tourism attractiveness! Atout France has published a trend keynote explaining that in late November, revenues of international tourism in France reached about 59 billion euros (+12% compared with 2019). The year 2023 may be a record year, with an overall total of 63 billion euros in international revenues. This trend may be due to several factors: a sharp growth of clients from North America, a confirmed pick-up for European clients, a positive impact of the Rugby World Cup and a gradual comeback from Asian markets.

The keynote was released during the second Destination France summit held on 12 January in the Chantilly palace. French president Macron presided the event, and seized the opportunity to remind “the strategic nature of tourism industry for France”, which welcomed millions of international travellers in 2023.

 

Tourism, a strategic sector of French economy

President Macron welcomed about 200 business leader and decisionmakers from the biggest international and French groups in tourism industry during the second Destination France summit. As the government website explains, the Summit was held “in the light of an exceptional year for French tourism and the soft power of our country”, a year that will be marked by several highlights: the commemoration of the Normandy landing, the reopening of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Francophonie Summit planned in autumn.

The Summit was indeed the perfect opportunity to present “the assets of France for investments in terms of tourism and the economic rearmament and attractiveness policy”. The idea is to maintain “France in the first place in terms of tourism destination worldwide” and keep “the first place in terms of attraction of foreign investments in Europe”, while having the ambition of “becoming the 1st sustainable nation in the world”. And the government website reminds that tourism industry is a strategic sector of the industry reaching about 2 million jobs in France (across all job denomination) and represents about 7.5% of French GDP.

 

Growth trend

While waiting for 2024, which may well be an exceptional year, the previous year was just as buoyant. In detail, the account of the balance of payments in tourism industry reached a record 16.5 billion euros in late November. In total, out of the first 11 months of 2023, 58.9 billion euros in international revenue were recorded, i.e. 9% more than in 2022 and 3% compared with 2019 (the year before the health crisis). Such figures show the growth of European clients and the comeback of Asian clients:

  • for “neighbour” Europe: +37% for the Belgians, +21% for the Dutch, +20% for the British;
  • for the Asian area: +36% for Japan, +20% for China.

Regarding the international air traffic, in spite of a slight decline, North America (Canada and Mexico in particular) and destinations from Asia present a strong growth compared with 2019 and 2022. As such, bookings made in December confirm the “growth trend” mostly for Japan and Canada, but also Spain and Italy.

Media: https://twitter.com/atout_france/status/1746917664608456705

 

Key sector in terms of employment

In economic terms and in the accommodation and catering, the tourism industry records an overall +7% increase of the number of business creations compared with 2022 and +4% compared with 2019.

With a total 38,700 jobs created over one year, the tourism industry “is again the first recruiting industry in France”, says the keynote And more precisely, in the 3rd quarter of 2023, the accommodation and catering sector recorded 1.3 million employees in the private sector, a +1.3% increase compared with 2022 and a +12% increase compared with 2019. Some 15,000 jobs were created in the 3rd quarter of 2023, while the average salary increased by 3.5% compared with 2022, i.e. an 8 billion euros total payroll.

 

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