France is the world’s most popular tourist destination

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84.7 million foreign tourists visited France in 2013. This makes France the world’s most visited country. In second and third place come the United States (69.8 million) and Spain (60.7 million).

With nearly 85 million tourists visiting in 2013 France retains the top spot in the tourism league. The most popular destination for those visiting France is, no great surprise, our hometown Paris. Overall, the number of tourists has increased by 2% over the year.

French and European flags at the impressive Town Hall in Libourne
French and European flags at the impressive Town Hall in Libourne, copyright BKWine Photography

Additionally, those who come to France staying longer than they did before: the number of “visits-nights” has risen by 4.6%. Not surprising either, considering everything there is to do and all there is to enjoy. The average length of stay for a tourist in France is 7.1 days.

The vast majority of visitors come from Europe, 82.8% of the total. The Americas (North and South) accounted for 7.7% and Asia 5.3%. Here are the most frequent visitors:

  • Germany 13 million visitors
  • United Kingdom, 12.6 M
  • Belgium + Luxembourg, 10.5 M
  • Italy, 7.8 M
  • Spain, 5.3 M
  • North America, 4.2 M
  • China, 1.7 M

All this information can be found in a new tourism report from the French Dgcis.

In the Jardin des Tuileries, looking at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris
In the Jardin des Tuileries, looking at the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, copyright BKWine Photography

So what do you do when you come to France? These are the most popular tourist destinations (sites), including French visitors (source: Wikipedia, Ministère de l’artisanat du commerce et du tourisme):

  1. Disneyland Paris, 16,000,000
  2. Musée du Louvre 9,437,743
  3. Château de Versailles 7,278,745
  4. Tour Eiffel 6,270,000
  5. Centre Pompidou 3,791,585
  6. Musée d’Orsay 3,579,130
  7. Cité des Sciences de la Villette (ex Géode) 2,641,356
  8. Museum national d’histoire naturelle 2,040,313
  9. Arc de Triomphe 1,732,280
  10. Parc Futuroscope 1,730,000
Eiffel Tower illuminated at night, Paris
Eiffel Tower illuminated at night, Paris, copyright BKWine Photography

What all visitors hopefully take the opportunity to enjoy is the French gastronomy, food and wine, which of course counts as one of the country’s national treasures. I have no statistics on which wine regions are the most visited, or how many people who come to France come to visit wine regions. But no doubt there are many, and we at BKWine do our best to try and make sure that you keep coming more and more numerous.

If I venture a guess, I think the top league for wine regions to visit in France might look like this:

  1. Bordeaux
  2. Champagne
  3. Loire
  4. Burgundy
  5. Alsace
  6. Rhône

But no matter which wine region you want to visit when you travel to France, the best way to do it is on one of our wine tours!

Bottles of Sancerre wine, bread and food in the garden, Loire
Bottles of Sancerre wine, bread and food in the garden, Loire

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