France - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism (TRA)

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-03-04

Overview

 

2017

(Estimated)

2018

(Estimated)

2019

(Estimated)

2020

(Estimated)

Number of French travelers in the U.S.

1.70

1.80

1.84

n/a

French spending in the U.S.

$6.10

$6.35

$6.46

n/a

Exchange Rate 1 Euro

USD 1.13

USD1.18

USD1.11

USD1.12

(Figures in USD millions; * Estimated figures)

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

French government, Etudes et Statistiques

The United States remains one of the top choices among long-haul destinations for French travelers. In 2019, France ranked third among European markets after the United Kingdom and Germany, and ninth in the world after Canada, Mexico, U.K., Japan, China, South Korea, Brazil & Germany, as an overseas source of income for the tourism industry in the U. S.

Best Prospects

The French market is dynamic and stable. In 2019, more than 1. million travelers from France visited the United States. We don’t have the full year for 2020 but from January to May 2020, the U.S. welcomed 280,681 French travelers (-60.6% about the same number than the German travelers).

Opportunities   

The United States is a popular destination for the French travelers, ranked number one among long-distance destinations.  California, the U.S. National Parks, New York and Florida remain favorite destinations.  Other regions such as the Southwest, Rocky Mountain states and Louisiana are becoming popular, particularly with second or third-time visitors. 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 cowboys and Native Americans surrounded by open spaces, as made popular by 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 in France.

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% choose “Fly and Drive” options. Nevertheless, some travelers, mainly retired people, prefer organized trips.

Ten carriers offer non-stop flights from France to the United States.  The U.S. carriers are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United. The European carriers are Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, French Bee, Corsair, Level, La Compagnie, and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

The impact of Covid 19

In May 2020, the Visit USA Committee France has conducted a survey among its B2b database (766 respondents) to measure the impact of the pandemic in their desire to travel to the U.S. Here is the result:

  • The French have still a strong desire to travel to the U.S. , 90% of the respondents are willing to travel again to the U.S., once the pandemic crisis is over.
  • The French travelers are targeting the West & National Parks for their future trip (40.7%), followed by the East (29.1%), and the South (17.8%).
  • One of the consequences of the pandemic crisis is that travellers seem ready to make greater use of the services of tourism professionals in the future.
  • Concerning the airlines, all the carriers have reduced their transatlantic routes but they are maintaining the major destinations (JFK, LAX, ATL, BOS, CHI, SFO, Dallas).  
  • As per the French tour operators and receptive tour operators, they are expecting that the situation will be be back to normal for spring 2021.

The Visit USA Committee France

U.S. Commercial Service in France works closely with the Visit USA Committee, a private industry association aimed at promoting the United States as a travel and tourism destination.  The Committee, with 150 members, is one of the biggest in the world.

The Visit USA Committee organizes a wide range of promotional actions: travel trade fairs, consumer fairs, workshops, and e-learning programs for travel agents, video clips, and monthly newsletters dedicated to the trade, press, and consumers. They publish travel planners, maps, and posters. They have a dynamic website, and they are in all the major social media networks, including facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Visit USA Committee France Website: www.office-tourisme-usa.com; Contact for information and registration: Delphine Aubert, Communication & Marketing Manager, d.aubert@office-tourisme-usa.com

Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/pages/Visit-USA-Committee-France

Twitter: @OTdesUSA, https://twitter.com/parisotc?lang=en

Instagram: Office du Tourisme des USA

Brand USA:  Established by the Travel promotion Act in 2010, Brand USA is a non-profit, private-public partnership that promotes increased inbound international travel to the United States. Brand USA is financed by a fee assessed on international visitors applying for entry into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and matching resources provided by private sector partners. www.thebrandusa.com.  Brand USA publishes a “Travel USA” Guide in French. The guides are distributed in all the major trade and consumer fairs organized by the Visit USA Committee in France.  www.VisitTheUSA.com

Major travel trade fair:

IFTM  (International French Travel Market)

Location: Paris – Expo Porte de Versailles

Dates: November 17-20, 2020

Number of visitors: 40,000

Show Organizer: Reed Exhibitions France

Website: www.iftm.fr

B For will organize a USA pavilion at IFTM 2020 with the collaboration of the Visit USA Committee and the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Embassy Paris. The pavilion will host 15+ U.S. exhibitors.

For Registration: B-For / Exhibitpro, partner of Brand USA

Contact: Michael Walsh, mwalsh@exhibitpro.com

Website: www.exhibitpro.com

Workshops                                                                             

The Visit USA Committee will organize 3 workshops for travel agencies in 2020, with the collaboration of the U.S. Commercial Service, and Brand USA.

November  24, 2020: Paris 

November 26, 2020:  Nice

December 1, 2020:  Lille 

Web Resources                                                                                  

Visit USA Committee France: www.office-tourisme-usa.com

Brand USA: www.thebrandusa.com, www.VisitTheUSA.com

IFTM (International French Travel Market): www.iftm.fr

International Trade Administration – Industry & Analysis, National Trade & Tourism Office: http://travel.trade.gov

U.S. travel destinations intersted in more information on the above trade fairs and events or the French tourism market generally should contact:

Contact: U.S. Embassy France - U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialist:

Valerie.Ferriere@trade.gov

Tel:  +33(0)1 43 12 70 77

trade.gov/France