Paris remains favourite city for tourism
When it comes to getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a much-needed holiday, people still can’t resist Paris.
According to a new survey published by the Ile-de-France regional tourist body, some 32.3 million visitors to the city of light and romance claim it as their favourite, making France’s capital the top tourist destination in 2013.
The achievement is all the greater considering the tough economic conditions the nation has endured, but with international visitor numbers at their highest level in ten years, the city must be doing something right.
As always, the largest number (2.1 million) came from across the channel – Brits are as entranced as ever by the wonderful cafe scene, romantic atmosphere and landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
Americans were the next most eager nationality to visit, followed by the Germans and Italians, although Paris also proved popular with Asians with 881,000 tourists flocking from China alone.
There was a significant rise from visitors originating from the Middle East as well – a 21 per cent increase on figures from 2012 that could indicate a resurgence of interest that may continue over the years.
But despite all the excitement and hype from other countries, it was the French who remained surprisingly unenthusiastic about holidaying in their own capital.
The number of tourists from the country dropped by 7.5 per cent from 2012, suggesting the difficult economic factors may have had some impact after all.
Ile-de-France tourism body undertook the research based on a survey pool of people who checked into Parisian hotels last year.
Paris has a well-cultivated tourist scene with plenty to do, a plethora of attractions and legendary cuisine that has long been considered the benchmark for the best restaurants in the world.