France or international? Atout France analyzes the expectations of the French to better seduce them

In terms of international tourism receipts, as in 2020, France resisted better in the first quarter of 2021 than its main competitors, with a decrease of just under 60% compared to 2019, while Spain and Italy recorded declines of between -80% and -90% over this period.

Regarding receipts linked to domestic tourism, the balance of the “French travel” item in the balance of payments deteriorated less in 2020 since more French people remained in France.

The strong resilience of the domestic market in times of crisis makes it a major issue for many territories.

According to INSEE, the total domestic overnight stays in collective commercial accommodation only fell by -8.1% during the summer period (July / August / September) between 2020 and 2019.

The volume of international overnight stays, on the other hand, contracted sharply by -56.6% generating an overall drop in the volume of overnight stays of -22.9%.

Atout France thus estimates the fall in domestic market receipts to -35% in 2020, against -50% for international receipts.

In the future, certain French clienteles should again be tempted by an international stay. This choice, which was growing strongly before the pandemic, then contributed to lowering the balance of the travel item in the balance of payments from € 21.3 billion to € 11.6 billion between 2013 and 2019.

This decrease is essentially linked to an acceleration in the rate of growth of French spending abroad observed in recent years.

Janelle B. Smith

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