Boost in US, Canadian and Asian visitors to France this summer

Campsite holidays are also proving popular with European holiday-makers, a new report shows

A group of friends visiting Paris and taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower
International tourism was up in France this year, including visitors from Canada, US, Japan, and China
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France has seen a rise in the number of American and Canadian tourists visiting this summer compared to last year, alongside a “gently” positive tourism season this year, newly-released official figures reveal.

A report published by the Economy Ministry shows:

  • A 20.6% rise in Canadian clientele in July 2023 versus July 2022

  • A 5.9% increase in American clientele in July 2023 versus July 2022

Numbers for some other non-European visitors have also increased - including Japanese and Chinese tourists.

The report, which is published in association with tourism agencies Atout France and ADN Tourisme, said that the 2023 tourism season in France has been “favourable”, after an “exceptional performance” in June and July.

The sector even returned to pre-Covid levels (2019) in some respects, it said.

Director of Atout France, Caroline Leboucher, said: "As the months go by, France's international appeal is confirmed and strengthened.”

Camping popularity

Camping and campsite occupancy also increased nationwide, with more European visitors.

The report shows that occupancy levels of European clients among ‘open-air hospitality’ venues rose by 15% from July 2022 to the same month in 2023.

European visits increased in general too, with a rise in the number of tourists from Spain in particular, by 11.4% in 2023 compared to 2022.

Geographic differences: North more popular

Occupancy for hospitality businesses in mainland France hit 74% in July this year, the report shows, a similar level to 2022.

However, occupancy rates rose more in the northern regions, compared to in the south.

Read more: Tourism reversal in France: southerners head north to cool off

People in France taking holiday

People in France are taking holidays in high numbers, the report found.

Although fewer people took holidays in July 2023 than in July 2022 (32% compared to 35% respectively), two-thirds (66%) say they plan to take a break in August and September.

This is due to a “favourable school holiday calendar” and the Rugby World Cup taking place in September, the report said, even though it added that people were likely delaying their trips to later in the summer due to still-tight household budgets.

‘Good news for businesses’

Tourism and Small and Medium Business Minister Olivia Grégoire said: “Tourism continues to drive the French economy, as the trends for the first three weeks of July demonstrate. This is good news for our businesses and for our public finances.

“The rest of the season promises to be just as bright, with the Rugby World Cup, in particular, giving our tourism businesses the chance to take advantage of what we hope will be a very positive post-season.”

Ms Leboucher added: “Domestic customers are in a transitional phase.” She said that people in France are looking to other areas of the country due to changes in climate, and within the “inflationary context”.

President of ADN Tourisme François de Canson said that the “summer season is off to a gentle start…with a positive spring and autumn boosted by the Rugby World Cup, 2023 will be another good year. France is resolutely a land of four-season tourism”.

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