France’s Tourism Industry Soars to New Heights in 2023


The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recently revealed that France experienced unprecedented growth in its Travel & Tourism sector last year. The sector’s contribution to GDP surged by nearly 6% year-on-year, reaching a record-breaking €246 billion. This remarkable growth highlights the sector’s crucial role in France’s economy and its potential for future expansion.

France's Tourism Industry Soars
France’s Tourism Industry Soars

Unveiling the Numbers: A Year of Growth

GDP Contribution and Economic Impact

According to WTTC’s latest research conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, the Travel & Tourism sector in France soared 4.3% above its previous peak in 2023. This growth brought the sector’s contribution to 8.8% of France’s total economic output. The research underscores the significant impact of Travel & Tourism on the national economy, reinforcing its status as a cornerstone of economic growth.

Job Creation and Employment

The sector also witnessed substantial job creation, adding over 172,000 new jobs and elevating the total to nearly 2.9 million nationwide. This figure is 4.7% higher than the levels recorded in 2019, highlighting the sector’s role as a major employment driver, representing one in every 11 jobs across the country. The continuous growth of employment opportunities in Travel & Tourism underscores its importance in sustaining the French workforce.

The Financial Boost from Tourism

International and Domestic Spending

International visitors contributed significantly to the French economy, injecting €66.7 billion last year. Meanwhile, spending by domestic travelers rebounded to €135 billion, surpassing the previous 2019 heights by 1% and 3%, respectively. These figures reflect the robust recovery and growth of both international and domestic tourism in France.

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Paris: The Crown Jewel

Paris, the capital city, stood out as the top choice for international visitors, further solidifying its status as a global tourism hotspot. The city’s allure, with its rich cultural heritage, iconic landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere, continues to attract millions of tourists from around the world.

Projections for 2024: A Promising Outlook

Economic Contributions

The French Travel & Tourism sector is poised for even greater heights in 2024, with an expected economic contribution of over a quarter of a trillion Euros (€254.7 billion). This represents an increase of nearly 8% from 2019 levels, affirming the sector’s significant role as a driving economic force, accounting for 9% of the national economy.

Job Market Expansion

The sector is set to support approximately 2.93 million jobs in France, representing an increase of more than 76,000 jobs compared to its previous highest point. This growth underscores the sector’s potential to continue being a major source of employment and economic stability.

Anticipated Tourist Spending

Spending by both international and domestic tourists is expected to reach unprecedented levels, with forecasts indicating a total expenditure of €70.3 billion and €138.8 billion, respectively. This surge in tourism spending is bolstered by major upcoming events, including the Olympics and Paralympics Games, which are set to attract a massive influx of visitors.

Leadership and Strategic Efforts

Government Support and Strategic Initiatives

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, praised President Macron’s steadfast efforts to highlight Travel & Tourism’s economic significance. The government’s strategic initiatives have been instrumental in maintaining France’s position as a premier global destination, ensuring the sector’s continued growth and success.

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Building on Recent Successes

Building on the momentum from the triumphant Rugby World Cup, France continues to captivate visitors’ interest as it prepares for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. These events are expected to further elevate France’s status on the world stage and drive economic growth.

The Decade Ahead: A Bright Future

Economic and Employment Projections

WTTC forecasts a bright outlook for the next decade. By 2034, the Travel & Tourism sector is expected to contribute an estimated €310.5 billion to France’s economy, accounting for 9.6% of the total economic landscape. This growth is accompanied by a projected increase in employment, with the sector expected to provide jobs for 3.4 million people nationwide, representing one in every 10 workers.

Transformative Growth

The forthcoming decade promises not just growth but a transformative period for Travel & Tourism in France. The sector is poised to enter an era characterized by prosperity, innovation, and unprecedented connectivity, marking a golden age eagerly anticipated by both consumers and businesses alike.