Last week, the French government released early tourism figures for 2016. Despite being lower than the previous year (85 million visited in 2015), the country has provisionally beaten the likes of the United Kingdom, Thailand and the United States for the title of world’s ‘most popular destination’. The drop in numbers is likely the result of the several high-profile terrorist attacks which rocked the cities of Paris, Nice and Rouen these past two years:
“France has suffered as a destination,” foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said at a press conference in Biarritz.
Ayrault also suggested that the biggest decrease in tourism was a result of fewer visitors from Asia, particularly from Japan.
In an effort to lure in more visitors, the French government recently announced it would launch a 10 million euro advertising campaign to combat the slowdown in tourism, with a goal of attracting a minimum of 100 million explorers by 2020.
More detailed tourism figures will be released by global tourism boards next month, so watch this space for further updates.
Still can’t decide where to go this year? Check out the cheapest destinations to travel to in 2017!