PARIS, Sept 27 (KUNA) — France’s tourism industry has made a strong recovery despite an ongoing high terror threat and a drop in visitor numbers here after the 2015-216 attacks that killed more than 230 people, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday.
Speaking on “World Tourism Day,” Le Drian expressed satisfaction with the new boost to visitor numbers in France, noting that around 88 million to 89 million tourists can be expected here in 2017.
This represents an increase of five to six percent compared to the figures recorded in 2016, the Minister remarked.
“The results this summer are therefore excellent,” Le Drian indicated, adding that France “should keep its position this year as the leading world tourist destination…and move up in the rankings of countries with the highest earnings from tourism.”
For Paris alone, some 34 million tourists are expected here by the end of 2017, compared with 30 million in 2016 when there was a slump due to fears of terrorist attack.
Le Drian said that visitor numbers were up from all major global areas and airline arrivals so far have risen 7.7 percent from 2016 to 2017.
“The aim of the government is to keep (France’s) first place, by bringing the number of international tourist arrivals here…to 100 million by 2020 and by increasing earnings from tourism to Euros 50 billion per year (USD 59 billion),” the Foreign Minister said.
Tourism accounts for 8.0 percent of annual French economic wealth (GDP) and about two million people are directly or indirectly employed in tourism.
If France met its objectives for 2020, this would create an additional 300,000 jobs, Le Drian said. (end)
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