France is the world’s leading destination, welcoming 89.4 million foreign visitors in 2018 (3% more than in 2017). Tourism is a key sector of the French economy. It accounts for nearly 8% of GDP, €56.2 billion in tourism receipts and generates two million jobs directly or indirectly.
The tourism sector is growing significantly worldwide. The number of international tourists totalled 1.2 billion in 2016 according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.
With regard to tourism challenges, the Government set the goal of 100 million international tourists and €50 billion in tourism receipts for 2020.
To develop this strategic sector, it has made tourism a priority. In July 2017, the Prime Minister convened 17 government members, elected officials and tourism professionals in the first interministerial tourism council to present the government’s road map for tourism to be headed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. An interministerial tourism council presided by the Prime Minister, and a tourism steering council, presided by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will alternately meet every three months according to a set two-year schedule.
Updated: May 2019