France world's top tourism spot but no growth in 2014
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France remains the world’s top tourist destination but key players in the French tourist industry lament the relatively slow growth in the sector compared to other countries.
84.7 million tourists visited France in 2014, the same number as 2013, according to figures from the World Tourism Organisation, published on the website of Alliance 46.2, a group of 21 major businesses in the French tourism sector.
L’Echo Touristique, a French tourist industry magazine noted on Monday that the figures indicated the lowest period of growth since 2009, when the tourism industry around the world struggled following the 2008 financial crisis.
Alliance 46.2 states its concern that “French tourism continues to lose sections of the market”.
The group notes that in the ten years from 2005 to 2014, growth in the French tourism sector is the lowest among all the top ten tourist destinations in the world.
France posted a 13% progression for the period, compared to 53% for Germany and 32% for Italy.
The number of tourists visiting Thailand increased by 109% over the same period while Turkey posted an increase of 67% attracting 40.3 million tourists in 2014. Spain is the EU country which comes closest to France in number of visitors, with 65.3 million in 2014, an increase of 17% over the ten year period.
France of course has less room for growth as it already attracts such a high number of visitors.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius last year announced a series of measures designed to give a boost to the French tourism industry.
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