France is recognised as the most popular tourist destination in 2024
In the world of tourism, France has always been recognised as the epicentre of cultural, historical and gastronomic wealth. According to the WTTC, this country remains the most popular tourist destination for travellers from all over the world. Find out more about the best cities and travel trends in France for 2024
France continues to maintain its position as a leader among the world's most popular tourist destinations, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). In the first half of 2024, France is projected to see a 93% increase in international arrivals compared to 2019 levels, resulting in an economic benefit of €220 billion. This success will greatly support the tourism sector and provide livelihoods for 2.7 million people.
At the Destination France event in Chantilly, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson expressed her gratitude to France for understanding the economic and cultural impact of tourism. She emphasised that travel and tourism play a key role in creating jobs and contributing to the gross domestic product.
President Macron has been a strong supporter of the tourism industry, recognising its real value to France in terms of economy, employment and global prestige.
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The most popular tourist destinations in France
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Paris remains the world's most powerful destination, while France as a whole continues to attract tourists. In the first half of 2023, more than half of the hotels in the capital exceeded their 2019 occupancy levels, reflecting the rapid development of the tourism industry.
A recent report by Euromonitor International has further underlined Paris' status as the world's top tourist destination for 2023. The city's high popularity among tourists from Spain, Canada and Ireland indicates broad international interest.
The WTTC notes that Paris is proving to be a catalyst for the growth of other French cities, which are also becoming attractive to international tourists in 2024. Nice, for example, expects to reach 94% of its pre-pandemic international arrivals, making it one of Europe's most popular destinations.
As the number of international tourists increases, airlines are actively expanding capacity to meet demand. It is expected that in 2024 the number of seats in air transport will exceed the level of 2019. France remains not only a beautiful country but also a real gem for global travellers.
Expectations from the 2024 tourist year for France
According to Oliver Ponty, Vice President of Analytics at Forward Keys, France has confidently started 2024 with a stable position in the global travel market. This is due to the successful hosting of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the expected rise in popularity due to the upcoming Olympic Games.
Paris Orly Airport has already seen a 28 per cent increase in passenger traffic, reaching more than eight million passengers. Charles de Gaulle Airport, according to the WTTC, is on track to reach 18.5 million passengers in the first six months of this year, just three per cent behind 2019.
A WTTC study last year predicted a sustained annual growth of three per cent for the French travel and tourism sector, reaching more than €297 billion over the next decade (representing 9.7 per cent of total GDP). According to the WTTC's forecast, the sector will also create 56,000 new jobs annually, reaching approximately 3.3 million people employed in the sector by 2033. Thus, the French tourism market is expected to develop steadily and make a significant contribution to the country's economy.
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