For two weeks, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, is visiting European capitals to admire the destination France this summer. He also met with tour operators in the United States, which had gone “green” with Canada on Thursday, meaning vaccinated Americans and Canadians can now come to France.
It aims to attract customers so that France maintains its position as the world’s leading tourist destination, bringing in 57 billion euros (7.5% of GDP) in 2019. However, the “return to normal” will be hampered by different vaccine policies, classification of countries by colour, health scares of COVID-19 and competition from Spain, Italy and Greece.
“There is a big delay with German customers”
Health passes, countries classified as green, red or orange, vaccination status, quarantine on the way or on the way … Foreign tourists who will come to France this summer to spend their holidays, therefore must be mainly European and some number . Foreign clients will be “primarily European”, confirmed Didier Areno, director of consulting company ProTourism, who notes “very strong growth in customers from Southern Europe, Spaniards and Italians in terms of reservations”.
“There is a huge delay with German and obviously British customers,” he further underlined. Some countries, such as Germany, classified us in a hard, orange zone, which has an effect on their behaviour. The United Kingdom, which is classified “orange” by France, sent 13 million of the 72 million tourists to France in 2019 who had gone abroad, according to the French ambassador in London, who spoke in a videoconference in early June. His counterparts and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.
“Vacations are one of the fundamental rights in France”
“We are catching up with Dutch customers,” Didier Areno said. In the Netherlands, “holidays in France are part of fundamental rights,” the French ambassador to the Netherlands noted with humor in early June. According to him, France is the first tourist destination of this country, where 50 percent of the population goes abroad on vacation.
Before the crisis, the Dutch represented 10% of the campsites’ clients (German 7%, English 5%, Belgian 4% for French), according to Sebastian Mansau, associate specialist in tourism within the firm Roland Berger. The percentage is expected to drop this year. “Typically, the Germans and the Dutch represent 30% of our customers, there it will be 10%”, confirms Quentin Schapelinck, managing director of Homer Vacans, specializing in mobile home stays.
Thanks “Emily in Paris” and “Lupin”
Beyond Europe, the United States which has just turned “green”, remains fond of France, pushed “by the chain”. Emily in Paris or lupine, According to the French ambassador to Washington. As for Asians, “we will not see them again for a long time,” according to Didier Areno, “because they are only rarely vaccinated and because they have been successful in controlling the epidemic by closing the borders: they They have no interest in opening up so that their citizens can come back to our areas.”
If France does not expect to find its international tourists immediately, it hopes to fill the gap with national tourism. According to Didier Areno, “This year, 38 million French people will go on holiday or short stay, and 35 million will go on holiday in commercial accommodation or short stay in July-August.” “This already represents, compared to 2020, a record year, two million more people. We are going to be on record for the record”, he assured us.
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