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PARIS (Reuters) – The number of foreign visitors in France (including overseas france) was recorded between at 82.5 and 83 million in the past year, significantly less than the record $ 85 million achieved a year earlier, announced Friday the minister of foreign Affairs.
In a press release, he emphasized that, despite the impact of the islamist attacks of November 2015 in Paris and Saint-Denis, and on 14 July in Nice, France is evidence of resilience, with a total”ensures the maintenance of its status as a first world tourist destination.”
“Without minimizing the economic impact of this difficult year on the professionals, particularly in the hospitality industry (-5,7% for overnight stays) and in some regions (Paris/Ile-de-France, PACA), we can enjoy a bounce evident at the end of 2016 (room nights, an increase of +2.9%) and early 2017 (booking airlines up 10.4%, to Paris, in the 1st quarter),” said the ministry.
It welcomes the effectiveness of efforts to target promotion put in place by the government and the actors of the sector in the direction of some markets in which, for example, “a massive return of the japanese client with airline reservations, an increase of 60%, to Paris, in the 1st quarter.”
Insee reported this week of a strong rebound (+3.9 per cent) in tourist numbers, calculated in nights, in the fourth quarter in France, while pointing out that it was mainly the result of customer French and, to a lesser extent, to foreign customers.
But on the whole of 2016, it shows a decline of 1.3%.
About 300,000 businesses and self-entrepreneurs (+5% since 2013) work in the tourism sector in France, which represents two million direct and indirect jobs, whose share in the gross domestic product is 7.4%.
The government has set as its goal $ 100 million foreign tourists per year by 2020, with an increase in the length of stays and an increase in average spending per visitor.
(Yann Le Guernigou, edited by Yves Clarisse)