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How France wants to bring back Chinese tourists

Although Covid may be behind us and China's borders have been reopened for a year, the Chinese are still shunning France.

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How France wants to bring back Chinese tourists

Although Covid may be behind us and China's borders have been reopened for a year, the Chinese are still shunning France. If the figures for visitors from the Middle Kingdom for the year are not yet known, the Ministry of Tourism indicates that the “threshold of one billion euros in revenue has been largely exceeded”. Far from the 3.5 billion euros spent in France by the approximately 2 million Chinese tourists who came in 2019.

So, to convince this precious windfall to come back and visit France, the French Minister in charge of Tourism, Olivia Grégoire, is currently in China. A few months before the Paris Olympics, big names in the French tourism sector have called on the government to take measures to “reinforce the image of hospitality” of “recently damaged” France.

In particular, the prices and difficulties in obtaining visas, on which Olivia Grégoire's office claims to be working, are at issue. But also the drop in the number of air connections, from 32 weekly rotations to 14 today, mainly due to the ban on crossing Russian airspace.

France is also shunned by Chinese tourists, very “sensitive to the security aspect” according to Didier Arino, director of the consulting firm Protourisme, and therefore chilled by the riots at the beginning of the summer and the terrorist attacks. Finally, to this is added the Chinese economic crisis which explains the absence of group tourism which France lacks, in favor of a more individual clientele. In this context, Olivia Grégoire's trip aims to inaugurate the Franco-Chinese year of cultural tourism, but "also to reassure and in particular with a view to the Olympic Games", indicates her office.

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