• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Paris still world's number one tourist destination

AFP/The Local · 11 Mar 2014, 10:51

Published: 11 Mar 2014 10:51 GMT+01:00

Some 32.3 million tourists say France's City of Light and romance can't be beat.

Paris was once again last year the world's top tourist destination, the regional tourism body said on Monday, citing hotel occupancies. The figures come after Paris authorities were angered last month by reports that their mantle of most visited city in the world had been taken by London.

Despite some tough global economic conditions, it said 2013 was a very good year for tourism in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region, with foreign visitors at "the highest level in 10 years".

The nearly 15.5 million foreign visitors to the French capital represented an 8.2 percent increase from 2012. The largest number (2.1 million) came across the Channel from Britain, followed by the Americans, Germans, Italians and Chinese.

It also marked the first time the Chinese topped the list of tourists from Asia with 881,000 flocking to Paris, surpassing the Japanese.

There was also a nearly 21-percent increase in visitors from the Middle East, according to the Ile-de-France Regional Tourism Committee.

Ironically, it was the French themselves who seemed less enthusiastic about visiting their world famous capital last year, with the number of French tourists in Parisian hotels dropping by 7.5 percent from 2012.

Story continues below…

SEE ALSO: Ten reasons why Paris is better than London

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Euro 2016
Cantona laments omission of north African-origin players
Cantona won 45 caps for France between 1987 and 1995. Photo: AFP

The omission of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa from the France squad for next month's European Championships is a missed opportunity to unite the country in the face of extremism and division, according to ex-international Eric Cantona.

UK rescues 19 migrants from boat in Channel
A boat used in a previous attempt by Iranian refugees to reach the UK. Photo: AFP

The British coastguard said it rescued 19 migrants on Sunday from the Channel after their inflatable boat began to take on water.

BREAKING
Ten children struck by lightning in Paris park
Photo: AFP

Eleven people including ten children have been injured by lightning during a thunderstorm at Parc Monceau in Paris on Saturday.

What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
Photo: Fabrizio Morrola/Flickr

Fancy the idea of a bar job in Paris? There are a few things you need to know first, writes bartender Lauren Belcher.

Five key tips to opening a bank account in France
Photo: Dave Dugdale/Flickr

Avoid the headaches. Read this before opening a bank account in France.

Afghan migrant killed by lorry in Calais
French riot police guard a truck after migrants tried to mount several trucks near the Eurotunnel, near Calais earlier this year. Photo: AFP

A 25-year-old Afghan migrant was killed by a lorry on a motorway near the French port city of Calais in the early hours of Saturday, according to officials.

French PM Valls stakes political career on union fight
A demonstrator wears a sticker featuring France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls last week in Nantes, western France, during a protest against government planned labour law reforms. Photo: AFP

Engaged in a fierce tug of war with unions and some of his own party over labour reforms, France's embattled Prime Minister Manuel Valls has staked his political career on staring down the crisis.

Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Photos: AFP

A series of ongoing strikes in France could continue to affect the country throughout the Euro 2016 tournament, which starts in just two weeks.

Fuel crisis eases as French police unblock depots
Tires on fire in front of an oil depot near the Total refinery of Donges, western France, on Friday. Photo: AFP

After a week of fuel shortages in France, things are improving in time for the weekend.

Opinion - French strikes
'Stop pissing everyone off': French boss to union chief
Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT union. Photo: AFP

In an open letter to the man attempting to bring France to a standstill, a business owner tells him to stop "living in the past" and stop "pissing everyone off".

National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
2,738
jobs available