France receives 50% more Chinese visitors in Q1 of 2015
The number of Chinese visitors to France grew 50% y-o-y in the first quarter of 2015, and the France issued 56% more visas to Chinese nationals.
The number of Chinese visitors to France grew 50% y-o-y in the first quarter of 2015, and the French Foreign Ministry had issued 56% more visas to Chinese nationals during the period.
The Chateau de Chambord becomes a major drawcard for Chinese tourists
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that France received a record number total of 85 million visitors this year.
Underscoring the increase in Chinese visitor arrivals, Mr. Fabius said in a press conference: “The growth of Chinese visitor numbers in France is only just in its early stage and I believe China will be the largest visitor source market for France. France receives about 2 million Chinese visitors a year so far, and we hope this figure will quickly grow to five million,” he said.
Chinese support Paris tourism industry
The number of visitors to the greater Paris area increased 1.6% to reach a total of 15.9 million visitors in the first quarter of 2015, according to data from the Comité Régional du Tourisme (CRT).
French television channel BFMTV said that “Paris should thank Chinese visitors”, as the number of Chinese visitors in Paris increased 48.9%, whereas the increase in visitor number from France was only 2.9%. The visitor numbers from other regions declined on the other hand – 39% down from Russia and 21.2% down from Japan due to economic crisis and devaluation of their national currencies, and the number of visitors from Italian, Dutch and German visitors also fell 12,7%, 7.2% and 4.2% respectively in the same period.
Mr. Fabius said Paris and the Cote d’Azur have always been France’s key tourism areas, to the point that tourism is over-concentrated in these areas. “However other than these two regions, France has excellent resources in the scenic Normandy and Provence regions too,” he said.
He also pointed out that Chinese tourists are making excellent contributions to the regional tourism industry outside the greater Paris area. For example the number of Chinese visitors to the Palace of Versailles increased 4.2% in the first eight months of the year and the number of Chinese visitors to the Chateau de Chambord in the Valle de la Loire increased 47%.
He also encouraged Chinese and other nationalities to visit France for medical tourism.
He said the French government has always been dedicated to creating the perfect conditions for travel in order to increase the competitiveness of the French tourism industry. This includes a 48-hour express visa policy for Chinese nationals, more safety services for travellers from Asian countries and promotion of French cuisine to attract foreign visitors.
He said the great weather and devalued euro are positive France’s tourism industry. “It means French more willing to vacation in the country and more foreign visitors coming to France,” he said.(Translation by David)