Already the world’s number one tourist destination, France is looking to double the number of Chinese tourists as one of its major objectives. The news will be welcomed by property owners in France who rely on international tourism for rental income.
“Our objective is to welcome five million [Chinese tourists] per year in the coming years,” said junior minister for tourism and foreign trade Matthias Fekl last week. Around two million Chinese currently fly into France every year or arrive on Mediterranean cruises.
Fekl said his government was already working to enhance accommodation services. “Chinese tourists come to France to enjoy some of our products and our brands, which is why we are improving the tax exemptions procedures, payment terms and changing schedules and the opening days of our stores to facilitate purchases,” he added.
According to official data, China is France’s second biggest tourist market outside of the rest of Europe in 2013 after the United States. That year, 1.7million Chinese visitors came to France, spending around €600million.
In all, France hopes to record 100million international tourist arrivals annually by 2020.