France Outbound - July 2012
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranks France as the world’s fifth most important outbound tourism market by expenditure. The reasons for this are manifold and include the fact that many French people have a reasonably high level of disposable income, a generous holiday entitlement (often this is officially 25 days, although many employees are able to extend this to 40 days due to regulations surrounding the 35-hour working week) and the fact that there are 11 nationwide public holidays in France.
The value of the French outbound tourism market underlines a cultural shift that has gradually seen the number of French people travelling overseas increase. In 2012, France had an estimated population of 65.4 million. Mintel estimates that the volume of outbound travel that year was around 24.6 million trips. Estimated expenditure was in excess of €29 billion. The French generally look for quality accommodation, food, excursions and other holiday-related experiences. As such, per-trip spending tends to be high.
Recently, many French people have cut their holiday expenditure by travelling closer to home, reducing the number of holidays they have in a year, or curtailing the length of stay. However, they want to make as few compromises as possible when it comes to their main holiday. As a result, many French people are keen to secure a good deal, using price comparison websites and booking late in order to take advantage of last-minute deals and special offers.
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