Tourism in France

France recorded a total of 89 million tourists in 2018, ranking 1st in the world in absolute terms.

Without including the size of a country, such a ranking list may not be very meaningful. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of France, the result is much more comparable picture: With 1.3 tourists per resident, France ranked 46th in the world. In Western Europe, it ranked 5th.

France generated around 73.13 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 2.7 percent of its the gross domestic product.



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The most popular cities in France for international travelers are Paris and Nizza. In 2018, Paris ranked 6th among the world's most popular cities with 17.56 million tourists. Nizza was in 92nd place with 2.47 million tourists.

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 731 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of France spend as much as 1,922 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in France from 1995 to 2018

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in France each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 9 countries in Western Europe.

Tourists per year in France

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 31.30 billion USD, or about 2.0 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 60.03 million tourists at that time and roughly 521 USD per person. Within 23 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased noticeably. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 73.13 billion USD, accounting for 2.6 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 819 USD for his holiday in France.

Tourism receipts in France per year

All data for France in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
199560.03 m31.30 bn $2.0 %521 $
199662.41 m32.09 bn $2.0 %514 $
199766.59 m27.40 bn $1.9 %411 $
199870.11 m29.49 bn $2.0 %421 $
199973.15 m37.77 bn $2.5 %516 $
200077.19 m38.53 bn $2.8 %499 $
200175.20 m38.39 bn $2.8 %510 $
200277.01 m40.54 bn $2.7 %526 $
200375.05 m45.99 bn $2.5 %613 $
200474.43 m52.11 bn $2.5 %700 $
200574.99 m52.14 bn $2.4 %695 $
200677.92 m54.59 bn $2.4 %701 $
200780.85 m63.90 bn $2.4 %790 $
200879.22 m68.00 bn $2.3 %858 $
200976.76 m58.86 bn $2.2 %767 $
201076.65 m56.18 bn $2.1 %733 $
201180.50 m66.13 bn $2.3 %822 $
201281.98 m63.98 bn $2.4 %780 $
201383.63 m66.05 bn $2.3 %790 $
201483.70 m67.40 bn $2.4 %805 $
201584.45 m66.44 bn $2.7 %787 $
201682.68 m63.56 bn $2.6 %769 $
201786.76 m67.94 bn $2.6 %783 $
201889.32 m73.13 bn $2.6 %819 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.