France, the world’s leading destination for tourism? According to the OMT (World Tourism Organization), France remains so with 83 million foreign tourists coming to visit our beautiful country. But, we would be only 3 rd in terms of tourism receipts , with 53.7 billion dollars, behind the United States and Spain. And this premise is taken to the heart like a sweet rhyme by all the media and tourism officials from all sides. Except that in reality the land of cheese is only … 83 th worldwide in terms of average expenditure per tourist .
Suddenly, each Minister of Tourism who passes by deduces that foreign tourists do not spend enough with us and that something must be done for that… What to do elsewhere? Nobody knows, since nobody knows what it is, for lack of having studied it.
Let us pass on the fact that we forget to say that 15 to 20% of these tourists do not choose France as their final destination and that they only transit . Let us also pass on the fact that these statistics include the 7.3 million foreign visitors to Disneyland Paris (approximately as many French) who will consume little or almost no French tourism. These would naturally go to Switzerland, Belgium or Lichtenstein if Mickey’s Park was there. Finally, let’s move on to the mode of data collection which seems more and more questionable, with France which does not have any reliable tourism observatory . Which suits a lot.
The truth that no one dares to show is presented in the table below: that of average tourist receipts spent per foreign tourist . Childish and without mystery: just divide the recipes announced by the number of arrivals indicated. For this observation, the then France has not arrived at the 83 th world out of 98 countries / destinations open to tourism and for which there is intelligence, more or less admissible apparently. For non-informed countries, we suspect that no figure filters: among totalitarians like Iran or North Korea, for example, or even in areas too poor to organize themselves on this register.
Thus, if we are to believe the UNWTO, the foreign tourist who comes to France would spend on average only US $ 647 , that is to say 8 times less than in Australia which is at the head of this statistic. This very low average revenue per tourist reveals all the falsehood of the figures on tourist arrivals. Besides, how can you be convinced by the reliability of these official data, presented as infallible and indisputable, seeing that tourists spend on average more than 5,000 dollars in Luxembourg… Some figures are strange.
Be that as it may, this classification of French tourism – overvalued and overvalued – suits all the successive French policies and governments which are royally pleased, year after year. It is hardly if each Minister of Tourism does not announce, in a Dantesque cocorico or more measured according to the geometry of his ego, that he is at the origin of this “success”,… on paper only.
There is therefore a risk of waiting a long time before the public authorities decide to overhaul everything and provide the real lessons on the behavior of foreign tourists and the reason why our national tourism is economically so poor, according to numbers. But again, no one is sure that our tourism is so poor.
Because during this time, the victorious announcement of the UNWTO and political leaders lulls energies. Crisis or no crisis, France officially remaining the world’s leading tourist destination, does not encourage anyone to question themselves, to work on investments, on training, on tourist reception or on the modernization of