France remains world’s leading destination for foreign tourists in 2016

The latest annual estimates by the French government have revealed that France was once again the world’s leading destination for foreign tourists in 2016, welcoming 83 million visitors.

While this number was down 2.3%-2.9% from the previous year, France still enjoyed a good 2016, ahead of the United States and Spain. Commenting on the figures, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said that while the terrorist threat remained high, there was a “massive return of Japanese tourists”, while the Ministry pointed to “a clear upturn by late 2016 in overall tourist numbers based on overnight stays.”

One of France’s key strengths is its cultural and creative excellence: every year, more than 7 million of foreign tourists visit the Château de Versailles and the Eiffel Tower. French history recreation theme park Puy du Fou was designated the world’s best theme park in 2014, while Val Thorens was voted the world’s best ski resort in 2014 and Europe’s top skiing destination in 2015. Add in the 41 French sites inscribed on UNESCO’s world heritage list, and it’s clear that France remains an attractive country where history, culture and creativity abound.

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