Published on : Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The France Tourism Development Agency, known as Atout France, has teamed with up with 13 French firms, including Air France and Club Med, to launch a series of roadshows in four targeted countries in Southeast.
Visitors from Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia constitute the bulk of visitors from the Asia to France. The launch of the Douce France (Sweet France) roadshow coincides with the first anniversary of the terror attacks in the French capital, which killed 130 people and devastated the country’s tourism industry.
Total tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of this year rose by 8.1% despite the terror activities in the country and the Asian tourists are on the rise. Asian tourist arrivals look certain to be just over 600,000 this year compared to nearly 500,000 last year, Morad Tayebi, Atout France’s Asian regional director. He also said that the expectation for Asian arrivals is to grow to about 700,000 next year if everything goes well.
Among France’s, key Asian source markets, only arrivals from Singapore and Malaysia declined in the past year, while other Asian countries saw an increase.
Malaysia was amongst one of the top rankers in terms of Asian tourist arrival followed by Thailand and Singapore. They contributed 150,000, 130,000 and 120,000 visitors respectively. France’s second-largest tourist market actually consists of the Asean travellers.
Atout France is working to speed up the visa application process in Thailand. Visa procedure is basically the major impediment for Thai tourists and with that solved can make it par with Indonesia and China tourist figures.
Atout France also expects to see a similar jump in traffic from Indonesia following the visa streamlining that went into effect in January. and by 2017, Indonesia will surpass Malaysia as France’s largest source market from Asean with over 150,000 visitors as Mr Tayebi said.
According to the latest plans, the French government aims to attract 100 million foreign visitors in 2020.