Holidays to France - UK - February 2016
“Proximity, convenience and transport choices remain huge natural advantages but well-travelled Brits need to be reminded that France can offer an unusual and highly idiosyncratic destination – an experience of ‘foreignness’ – right on Britain’s doorstep, without having to go very far.”
John Worthington, Senior Analyst
This report covers the following areas:
- France can benefit from incorporating more package-style independents
- Engaging younger generations is key as these are the visitors of the future
- The 'slow holiday destination' is a core theme for differentiating France from its competitors
Holidays to France grew only slightly in 2015 while many other overseas destinations saw robust recovery as UK economic growth and a strong Pound kick-started a real recovery, led by more affluent households, after several years of tightened purse strings. Trips across the Channel have slumped by over a fifth since 2008. France remains the UK’s second favourite destination abroad by some margin but has slipped further behind Spain and is losing market share as rival European destinations lure customers with falling resort costs and new generations of travellers look to more exotic destinations further afield. The tragic Paris attacks of November 2015 are also likely to dampen demand in the short term.
Nevertheless France retains unique characteristics which can clearly differentiate it from competitor destinations and, in the long term, it is best served by focusing its appeal on specific target groups, developing clear brand messages and raising awareness of its diverse tourism offering, rather than chasing levels of volume for their own sake.
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