PARIS, August 29 (Reuters) – Despite cost of-living fears, heat waves and forest fires, The tourism industry in France rebounded strongly this summeras local and foreign holidaymakers pour into after a two-year crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tourism Minister Olivia Gregoire told a press conference that preliminary data showed summer from 2022 had been “exceptional”, with 35 million French people going on vacation, i.e. 7 out of 10 against about 60% Last year.
In 2019, France was the most visited country in the world, attracting nearly 90 million foreign tourists. “We want to remain the number one destination in the world,” Grégoire said.
Credit card spending during summer increased by 10% compared to 2019, the last year before the pandemic, in French hotels and restaurants, she says.
Jtourism generates 8 percent of french national gross domestic product and provides two million jobs.
Data from July and the first half of August showed that revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel industry performance, rose 22.2% from 2019.
RevPAR in the Paris region and The Côte d’Azur to the south was up sharply, driven by a return of tributary foreign tourists, particularly from the United States due to a strong dollar, and from the Gulf countries.
“We had planned to go as a family, here to Paris, as well as to other parts of Western Europe two years ago, and we had to cancel them for the summer of 2020. So, (c is a) long deferred trip,” Graham said. Klym, a 38-year-old American tourist from Seattle, told Reuters.
“We are in Montmartre (Paris tourist hotspot) so there are obviously a lot of tourists and most of our customers are usually tourists but it is true that last year we were mainly serving French customers,” said the server Xavier Sarrasin.
“On the contrary, now and for a few months, customers generally speak a foreign language, we see it (the return of tourists) thanks to the languages that people speak in our cafe. Tourists are back in my opinion, it’s sure,” he added.
When asked if France always targeted 100 million foreign tourists per year year, Grégoire said: “It may not be impossible to reach this number, (but) it’s a goal we can have.”
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Manuel Ausloos; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Mark Heinrich)
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