As tourism recovery around the world continues to accelerate after the Covid-19 pandemic, a report by global market intelligence and data analysis firm GlobalData says that France is set to cement itself as the most visited country in the world.
In its latest report, GlobalData says that France will attract 93.7 million international travellers by 2025. The report adds that with this, France will be ahead of its competitor, Spain, which had overtaken France in 2021.
The report adds that France had held the title of most visited country in the world prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, welcoming 88.1 million visitors in 2019. However, it was overtaken by Spain in 2021. Having attracted 66.6 million international visitors in 2022, France is now set to re-claim the title, with the number of international arrivals expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1 pc between 2022 and 2025, says the report.
Spain received 26.3 million visitors in 2021, overtaking France to become the most visited Western European destination. This year, the numbers are expected to rise by 140.5 pc year-on-year to 63.3 million in 2022 and by 2025, Spain is expected to attract 89.5 million international visitors, with a CAGR of 12.2 pc between 2022 and 2025, says the report.
“Alongside Italy and Spain, France represents a significant segment of the growth in Western Europe. The country is not only popular with travellers from Europe itself, especially the UK, Germany and Belgium, but it is also popular with visitors from further afield, including China and the United States. In fact, France is one of the top Western European destinations for US travellers,” says Hannah Free, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData.
“Visitation to France and Spain will remain strong in the years to come, with festivals, culture and gastronomy being a big pull for tourists. Both countries have a lot to offer visitors, with their own unique cultures, cuisines, and atmospheres. Both countries are also relatively large, with a diverse and varied landscape, and each country has its own unique coastline,” adds Free.
The report points out that one of France’s big advantages as a tourism destination is its transportation. Travel between major cities in both France and Spain is relatively easy, with high-speed trains connecting most major cities.
“One key transportation project in Western Europe is the Ultra Rapid Train line, which is being planned by the European Commission to improve connectivity between Lisbon in Portugal and Helsinki in Finland. The programme involves the construction of an 8,000 km doubletrack high-speed railway network between Lisbon and Helsinki with a loop around the Baltic Sea. The rail line will pass through, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Finland,” says Free.