Over 500 million tourists visit Europe every year, but which country is the most coveted? It is not England and not even Italy. Without going too far, it’s France. The estimate comes from GlobalData, a London-based data analysis and consultancy company, which in its latest report (called Tourism Destination Market Insight: Western Europe) quantified the total number of visitors to France in 2019 at 88.1 million, i.e. in the year pre-pandemic. In 2022, it welcomed 66.6 million international visitors.
According to GlobalData, the number of international arrivals in France should grow at an annual rate of 12.1% between 2022 and 2025, attracting as many as 93.7 million international travelers by 2025 and thus consolidating its title of “country most visited in the world”.
“Together with Italy and Spain, France represents a significant segment of growth in Western Europe,” says Hannah Free, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData. “The country is not only very popular with European travelers – especially the British, Germans and Belgians – but it is also popular with overseas markets, such as China and the United States”.
Why is France such a popular destination?
According to GlobalData, one of the major attractions of France is transport. Moving between the main cities, in fact, is not very problematic, thanks to the high-speed rail connections. And then: France is also well connected to other European countries through long-distance trains and night trains. In fact, the new night trains that will be launched this year will take passengers from Paris to Vienna, Berlin and Milan, while in 2024 the capital will also be connected to Barcelona.
Tourists in Italy: numbers and statistics
According to the latest available data, those relating to the first nine months of 2022 released by Bank of Italy, 55.98 million travelers from abroad arrived in our country. Last year, foreign travelers to Italy practically doubled (+94%), even if arrivals remain 26% lower than in 2019, the year before the pandemic. Almost two out of three foreign travelers arriving in Italy (72%) come from the European Union; 3.6 million from the UK and 2.2 million from the USA.