France - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism (TRA)
Last published date:


Total Market Size for Travel and Tourism

Academic Year





2022 (Estimated)

Foreign students in France





French students in France




 2,7 mil

French students in the world





International students in the U.S. 





French students in the U.S.





Exchange Rate 1 Euro

USD 1.19

USD 1.14

USD 1.18

USD 1.09

(* Estimated figures)

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, National: Travel & Tourism Office

The United States remains one of the top choices among long-haul destinations for French travelers. In 2020, France ranked second among European markets after the United Kingdom and Germany, and ninth in the world after Canada, Mexico, Canada, U.K., Japan, China, South Korea, Brazil, India, as an overseas source of income for the tourism industry in the U. S.  In 2021, France ranked second among the European markets after U.K. and Germany and sixteen in the world (all the South American countries took the lead because they were allowed to travel to the U.S.).

The industry has been devastated over the past two years, being among the hardest hit by Covid-19 and the associated quarantines and travel restrictions.  In October 2020, there was a travel ban on the Schengen Area (which includes France) and thus French travelers were not allowed to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business purposes. On November 8, 2021, the travel ban was lifted.

Best Prospects

The United States is a popular destination for French travelers, ranked number one among long-distance destinations.  California, the U.S. National Parks, New York, and Florida remain the favorite destinations.  Other regions such as the Southwest, Rocky Mountain states and the Deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee) are becoming popular, particularly with second or third-time visitors.  Because the French are highly fond of culture and history, many French travelers choose cities renowned for their artwork or museums (New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago). Additionally, images of expansive landscapes and wide-open spaces, as made popular by classic American TV shows and movies, remain vivid in the French imagination, which explains why Western states such as Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico are popular with French tourists.


The French have five weeks of paid vacation per year. The average length of stay in the United States is approximately two weeks.  The French are very individualistic in their travel behavior, which explains why 70% percent choose “Fly and Drive” options. Nevertheless, some travelers, mainly retired people, prefer organized trips.

Seven carriers offer non-stop flights from France to the United States (10 before the pandemic).  The U.S. carriers are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United. The French carriers are Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, French Bee, and La Compagnie.

The impact of Covid-19

In May 2020, Visit USA France conducted a survey among its B2B database (based on 766 respondents) to measure the impact of the pandemic in their desire to travel to the U.S. Here is the result:

The French still possess a strong desire to travel to the U.S, 90% of the respondents are willing to travel again to the U.S.

French travelers are targeting the West & National Parks for their future trips (40.7%), followed by the East (29.1%) and the South (17.8%).

One of the consequences of the pandemic crisis is that French travelers seem ready to make greater use of the services of tourism professionals in the future. 

The Visit USA Committee France

Following the closing of the United States Travel and Tourism Administration (USTTA) in 1996, the U.S. Commercial Service supported the establishment of the Visit USA Committee, a private industry association aimed at promoting the United States as a travel and tourism destination.  The Visit USA Committee, with 130 members (170 before the pandemic), is one of the biggest Visit USA Committees in the world.

The Visit USA Committee organizes a wide range of promotional actions: travel trade fairs, workshops, e-learning programs for travel agents, the Visit USA Media Awards ceremony, video clips, and monthly newsletters dedicated to the trade, press, and consumers. Most of their actions were virtual in 2020 and 2021. They have a dynamic website, and they are in all the major social media networks, including Facebook, twitter, and Instagram - Contact for information and registration: Delphine Aubert, Communication & Marketing Manager,;  Facebook:  Visit-USA-Committee-France; Twitter: @OTdesUSA,;  Instagram : Office du Tourisme des USA

Trade Fairs

Major travel trade fairs include: IFTM (International French Travel Market) - Paris – Expo Porte de Versailles (40,000 visitors).   Show Organizer: Reed Exhibitions France. “B-For” will organize a USA pavilion at IFTM 2022 with the collaboration of the Visit USA Committee and the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Embassy Paris. The USA pavilion will host 10+ U.S. exhibitors.  For Registration: Michael Walsh,


The Visit USA Committee will organize 3 workshops for travel agencies in 2022, with the collaboration of the U.S. Commercial Service, and American Presence Posts in the French provinces:   November 22, 2022: Strasbourg - November 24, 2022: Paris - December 1st, 2022: Toulouse


Contact: U.S. Embassy France – U.S. Commercial Service Commercial Specialist: Valérie Ferrière - Tel : +33(0) 1 43 12 70 77