It’s Official

From the romance of the Parisian streets and the charm of Normandy’s coastal towns to the prestige of Bordeaux’s châteaus, the thrill of the Alps’ slopes, and the sophistication of the French Riveria, the allure of France is undeniable. So it’s no surprise that it’s on track to become the most visited country by 2025, when 93.7 million international travellers will enter the country annually, according to new data from GlobalData.

Carte touristique de France » Vacances - Arts- Guides Voyages | Carte touristique, Géographie, Tourisme en france

While Spain had edged out its neighbour in 2021, France is on track to reclaim the title it had long held before the pandemic – the most visited country in the world – with a 12.1% compound annual growth in visitation between 2022 and 2025.

Visits to France will remain strong in the years to come, with festivals, culture, and gastronomy being a big pull for tourists, advised GlobalData. The country has a lot to offer visitors, with its own unique and regional cultures, cuisines, and atmospheres. It’s a large country with a diverse and varied landscape, and each its own unique coastline.

Top 5 des villes les plus touristiques de France | L'immobilier par SeLoger

Indeed, it’s that wide range of offerings that makes the country so coveted for both first-timers and return visitors. France as a destination offers something for everyone – history, city, sea, mountains, beaches, gastronomy, wine country. It has everything.

The news is, of course, no surprise to those of us that live here particularly since President Emmanuel Macron introduced the Destination France Plan in 2021 to make the European nation a leader in global tourism.

With the Destination France Plan, the French Government intends to set an actual road map for the development and transformation of the tourism sector over the next 10 years, with a particular emphasis on a goal toward being the top sustainable destination by 2030. France is investing heavily in innovation, attracting new talents in the hospitality industry, and providing the training to best welcome these visitors, especially with the Rugby World Cup taking place this autumn and the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.

Hotel Le Grand Controle at Chateau de Versailles, from Airelles Group

The commitment toward pushing forward the tourism infrastructure is visible with hotels such as Le Grand Contrôle in the grounds of the Château de Versailles, the recently opened Anantara Plaza Hotel in Nice (more of which next week), and the eco-friendly Les Sources de Cheverny and the palace-turned-resort Fleur de Loire in the Loire Valley.

Thoughtfully developed cultural sites have also made their debut, such as the renovated 18th century palace Hôtel de la Marine in Paris, the prehistoric underground cave Grotte Cosquer in Marseille, or the epicurean wonderland of La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin in Dijon. A new kind of destination experience – La Vallée de la Gastronomie – features three regions banding together to focus on a gastronomic journey. Even the iconic French baguette received a UNESCO designation last year.

France is also set to become the most visited country in the world due to the increase in travellers diversifying their interests. Longtime lovers of the French capital, American visitors are now willing to give up a bit of their time to venture outside of Paris.

Lyon Picture Gallery of the Great Sights of the City

Two French cities have even been called out for their “smart” approach to tourism, being named European Capitals of Smart Tourism by the European Commission. In 2019, Lyon, the 2,000-year-old city at the convergence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, received the honours, hailed for its accessibility with a completely adaptive public transportation network and museums offering adaptive tours. Its airport is one of a handful that is carbon neutral, and its gastronomical flair is rooted in a mysterious Chef Factory school that churns out world-class chefs and a Bouchons Lyonnais designation.

Just last year, Bordeaux was granted the title, lauded for its wine region’s innovation, seen at wineries like Chateau Paloumey, a fully organic operation that’s been testing new methods of growing rows of trees in its vineyards, and its wine storytelling at the interactive museum, La Cite Du Vin. But Bordeaux has proven itself to be so much more than wine, especially on the sustainability front. The city’s four-line tram system is made up of cars that are 98% recyclable, a massive old submarine base has been upcycled into the world’s largest projection art museum at Les Bassins des Lumières, and the Darwin Ecosystem is a unique mixed-use community that only allows businesses with a green-first mentality, including a skate park, organic dining hall, bakery, and even the world’s first recycling and repair store for sustainable shoe company Veja.

With unorthodox and unique offerings with an eye to the future, visitors keep clamouring for a French immersion – and even the country’s leading airline is already prepping for the growth. It’s also continuing to invest in the fleet and launching new routes.

The increased accessibility will help foster the growth as France continues to lead by example not just by opening its doors, but by luring guests in mindfully. The goal is also to become the leading destination for sustainable travel, by making French tourism a sector that promotes excellence, growth, and employment, based on a more qualitative, sustainable, and resilient model, in line with the new expectations of French and international clients, particularly in terms of ecological transition.

So, when are you coming to visit?


37 Comments on “It’s Official

  1. We try to come every year — spent a wonderful couple of weeks in October in Paris and the Périgord, and hope to be back soon. Your blog always reminds me of places to visit or revisit. xx Alisa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I spent one year at the Sorbonne several decades ago. It was a wonderful time. I would love to return to the countryside of France. My one regret is not keeping in touch with some of the people and families I met as a student and au pair for a French family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well having work in palaces and hospitality industry in France with branches worldwide, can tell you we follow the United Nations World Tourism Organisation as official as reported by each country tourism org, and France is No 1 since 1949! Going for 100 millions projected if the world holds true this year. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wanting to later this year or perhaps next year, depending on fiances. I liked Lyon, actually todays Thursday Doors has a few when I post them 🙂


  5. My family was from the Dordogne, but we all moved near Bordeaux. They all stayed there yet I live in Australia. Went back many times. Due to go back after the pandemic, probably for a stay in Les Landes.

    Liked by 2 people

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