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Paris is world's top destination

Despite the tough economic climate, 15.5 million foreign visitors flocked to hotels in French capital last year

11 March 2014

PARIS was the world’s most popular tourist destination last year, with 32.3 million visitors flocking to the city of lights.

Despite the difficult economic climate, almost 15.5 million foreign visitors stayed in hotels in the French capital, a rise of more than 8% on the previous year and the highest for 10 years.

Most tourists came from across the English channel, with 2.1 million Britons heading to the city. They were followed by American, German, Italian and Chinese visitors.

For the first time, Chinese tourists topped the list of Asian visitors with 881,000, ahead of Japan.

The Ile-de-France Regional Tourism Committee also revealed that there had also been a 20% rise in visitors from the Middle East.

Ironically, it was the French themselves who seemed less enthusiastic about visiting their world famous capital last year, with the number of French tourists in Parisian hotels dropping by 7.5 percent from 2012.

Tourism officials expect 2014 to be another bumper year for the French capital.

If you're thinking of following in the 32 million who visited Paris last year, here's our 12-step guide to enjoying Paris on a budget

Photo: Moyan Brenn

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