It is the only initiative of its kind in the world: Paris is the first city to have opened an incubator for tourism-related start-ups. The idea makes sense, given that the French capital is the world’s most popular tourist destination, with 32.3 million hotel arrivals in 2013. The number of foreign visitors, meanwhile, rose by 8.2% in twelve months, reaching 15.5 million in 2013. These figures alone justify the creation of Welcome City Lab.
Strengthening France’s attractiveness and outreach
France is the world’s top tourist destination (with 84.7 million foreign tourists in 2013) and tourism is a key sector of its economy, accounting for more than 7% of GDP and two million direct and indirect jobs. The French Foreign Minister has set the next target at 100 million foreign tourists a year by 2020.
France ranks third in terms of tourism-related revenue, totalling over €42 billion a year. Strengthening and expanding the tourism offer to increase revenue is therefore a major issue.
The tourism sector also needs to adapt to rise to the competition of other countries and benefit from the growth in global tourist flows. These are set to double in 20 years, from 980 million to 1.8 billion international tourists a year in 2030.
In this context, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development is seeking to strengthen France’s attractiveness and outreach.
|Accessible version of the graphic : The tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - (PDF, 37.9 ko)|
Updated: October 2014