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Tourism in France

Tourism in France

France recorded a total of 212 m 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 3.1 tourists per resident, France ranked 42nd in the world. In Western Europe, it ranked 3rd.

France generated around 71.01 bn US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 2.7 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 37 percent of all international tourism receipts in Western Europe.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


Back to overview: France


The most popular cities in France for international travelers are Paris and Nice. In 2019, Paris ranked 6th among the world's most popular cities with 19.09 m tourists. Nice was in 93rd place with 2.58 m tourists.

Tourism in France

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 bn USD, or about 2.0 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 60.03 m tourists at that time and roughly 521 USD per person. Within 24 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased noticeably. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 71.01 bn USD, accounting for 2.6 percent of the gross national product.

Tourism receipts in France per year

All data for France in detail

YearNumberof touristsReceipts% of GNPIncome per tourist
2018212.00 m73.04 bn $2.6 %345 $
2017207.27 m67.72 bn $2.6 %327 $
2016203.04 m63.56 bn $2.6 %313 $
2015203.30 m66.44 bn $2.7 %327 $
2014206.60 m67.40 bn $2.4 %326 $
2013204.41 m66.05 bn $2.3 %323 $
2012197.52 m63.98 bn $2.4 %324 $
2011196.60 m66.13 bn $2.3 %336 $
2010189.83 m56.18 bn $2.1 %296 $
2009192.37 m58.86 bn $2.2 %306 $
2008193.57 m68.00 bn $2.3 %351 $
2007193.32 m63.90 bn $2.4 %331 $
2006193.88 m54.59 bn $2.4 %282 $
2005185.83 m52.14 bn $2.4 %281 $
2004190.28 m52.11 bn $2.5 %274 $
200375.05 m45.99 bn $2.5 %613 $
200277.01 m40.54 bn $2.7 %526 $
200175.20 m38.39 bn $2.8 %510 $
200077.19 m38.53 bn $2.8 %499 $
199973.15 m37.77 bn $2.5 %516 $
199870.11 m29.49 bn $2.0 %421 $
1997157.55 m27.40 bn $1.9 %174 $
1996148.26 m32.09 bn $2.0 %216 $
199560.03 m31.30 bn $2.0 %521 $


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

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