Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and Atout France present the Monthly ‘Travel Intentions’ Barometer

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and Atout France are launching a monthly survey on the leisure travel intentions of French and international tourists over the next six months. | Publié le 24 June 2020

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and Atout France are launching a monthly survey on the leisure travel intentions of French and international tourists over the next six months. The objective: to measure and anticipate visitor behaviour on the ten leading source travel markets for France and Paris. A snapshot of this first set of data.

A strong desire to get away with peace of mind

With regard to the 10 markets surveyed: France, Germany, Belgium, China, Spain, United States, Italy, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Switzerland, this first barometer confirms the desire of respondents to travel again. The results of the survey point to a positive outlook for tourismin France and the Paris destination in the next six months, but with last-minute booking intentions. This was the case for 2/3 of respondents, even if their destination was already fixed. Obviously, the number of visitors expected in France will not equal that of previous seasons, and in this time of unprecedented crisis, it is more than ever necessary to measure and evaluate their desire to travel.

Clear travel expectations and criteria

Naturally, measures put in place across the country to reassure visitors are now a priority issue: 77% of foreigners and 74% of French travellers envisage making a trip to a destination where they will feel safe. Also worth noting, 7 out of 10 respondents envisage using their own transport to travel. Similarly, the terms and conditions for the cancellation, postponement and reimbursement of stays are essential criteria (for 87% of foreigners and 92% of French travellers) and must enable maximum flexibility. 

In terms of profile, the 15-34s from Western Europe favour urban areas (41%) and the coast (47%), whereas the 50+ age group say they are less attracted to cities (15%). 

France, the leading European destination

 With the onset of summer, there is a clear desire to go away on holiday, with domestic markets being the favourite choice, for example, for  the French (67%), the Italians (67%) and the Spanish (69%). On the other hand, for those travelling outside their countries’ borders, France remains the leading European destination, favoured by 22% of foreigners planning to travel abroad, i.e. 1 European out of 5 surveyed. 40% of Belgian travellers favour France, 28% of Swiss, 22% of Spanish, 18% of Dutch and 18% of Italians.

 The top 5 European destinations for local Western European markets for an impending trip are, in order of priority, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. As for long-haul markets surveyed here, subject to the reopening of borders, China demonstrates the strongest intention to travel to France in the next six months, for 57% surveyed (for the Golden Week period), compared to 23% for the United States.

 ‘The first results of the ‘Travel Intentions’ Barometer, which we are launching today with the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, point to encouraging prospects for the France destination. This is proof that France's attractiveness remains strong on international markets. The #CetÉtéJeVisiteLaFrance campaign, which we are deploying in collaboration with numerous tourism stakeholders, will therefore be rolled out on local European markets to reinforce the idea that France has some great experiences waiting to be enjoyed this summer, based on the qualitative trends concerning travellers' expectations and desires in this barometer.’ Caroline Leboucher, CEO Atout France.

Paris maintains its status as a top city

 Last year, between June and September, the French capital accounted for some 8.9 million arrivals, i.e. 26.2% of yearly visitors. Although this year is strongly impacted by this unprecedented crisis, the survey  confirms the City’s attractiveness: 55% of French respondents plan to make a trip to Paris in the next 6 months, as do international tourists (USA, 27%; China, 60%).

Visitors from Southern Europe, such as Spain and Italy (38% each) also express a real desire to come to Paris. Western European markets (the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland) are taking a wait-and-see approach e.g. the United Kingdom and Switzerland (17% each).

This monthly barometer will enable us to monitor visitor behaviour closely and to work with Parisian tourism stakeholders to create the best welcome conditions and offers. In addition to the French market, which is helping to boost activity in the sector, the gradual reopening of borders is enabling foreign visitors to make plans for the weeks ahead. The next few months will not be equivalent to those of previous years, but the desirability of the destination remains intact’, Corinne Menegaux, Managing Director of Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The « Caring Attitude »

In Paris, professionals from the sector worked to make every effort to welcome visitors in the best possible conditions. The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched the “Caring Attitude” Charter, which requires signatory establishments and partners to respect 7 commitments, such as implementing health measures, training employees or adapting services in order to respect physical distance. 

In conclusion,

The overall estimates of this first barometer suggest that for foreign markets, Augustwill be thekey momentof the summerin France: 18% of tourists surveyed are planning their stay in August, compared to 17% in September and 12% in July. The Chinese market stands out from the rest:  health and travel conditions permitting, Chinese visitors plan to come to France, and in particular to Paris, for Golden Week in October. As for the French, they are planning to holiday in July (24%), in August, (23%) but also in September (15 %).