Paris celebrates continued tourist boom

Tourism in the French capital has broken records during the first half of 2018, according to the Regional Committee for Tourism (CRT) Paris Ile-de-France. Foreign visitors were credited for the numbers, despite the fact that the growth in the number of visitors from China and Japan is slowing somewhat.

A total of 17.1 million hotel arrivals were recorded in the first six months of the year, an increase of 4.1 percent year-on-year, “despite strikes in rail transport that affected mainly French customers and, to a lesser extent, some local European customers,” the CRT said. The year 2017 had already shown a sharp increase in visitors.

Among the nationalities represented, Americans remain in the lead, with 1.25 million hotel arrivals in Paris Ile-de-France over the first half, followed by the British (982,000) and Germans (592,000). The Chinese rank fourth, with 543,000 hotel arrivals over the period.

Paris sunset

But despite the slowdown in the growth of Asian visitor numbers, hotel bookings of tourists from China, who have a strong purchasing power, grew 5.4 percent compared to 17.8 percent for the whole of 2017.

The figures are based on hotel arrivals, and don’t take into account airb’n’b bookings. The government’s goal is to reach 100 million foreign visitors by 2020, up from 87 million last year.