Tourism business to pick up in Paris and its region in 2021

2 min reading time

Published on 04/03/22 - Updated on 17/03/22

activité touristique 2021 Paris

The capital's tourist activity experienced a recovery in 2021, particularly during the second half of the year. The figures for 2022 are encouraging, with a modest return of international customers for the moment, which should intensify in the coming months.

A double-digit increase has been observed in the majority of tourism indicators published by the CRT Paris Ile-de-France compared to 2020. This demonstrates the recovery of tourism business in this highly popular destination before the health crisis. The Paris Region destination welcomed 22.6 million French and international visitors in 2021, an increase of 30% compared to 2020.

This increase was particularly concentrated in the period from June to December 2021, with these six months accounting for 80% of Paris Region's tourism activity for the year. A recovery mainly driven by domestic customers (15.9 million French tourists), but also European. The return of international tourist customers is still to be seen despite the recovery of certain markets. Such as the Americans, whose visits are up by 237% compared to 2020.

Other nationalities are also making a comeback in the streets of the capital, such as Dutch tourists, with an increase of 11.4%, Spanish tourists with an increase of 64.4%, Italian tourists with an increase of 53.6% and Swiss tourists with an increase of 13.2%. On the far side, Brazilian travellers are up 47.7% and Israeli travellers are up 8.1%.

However, the absence of other clienteles, such as the Asian markets or business travellers, greatly penalises tourism professionals in Paris and the Île-de-France. The international clientele accounts for only 30% of the total number of visitors in 2021, compared with 44% in 2019. The stays made by this clientele last year are nevertheless up by 32% compared to 2020.

These figures, all of which are increasing, also have a significant impact on the region's tourism economy. 8.4 billion in 2021, an increase of 39% compared to 2020. However, this figure is still down by 62% compared to 2019, a record year for the tourism sector.

Among the Parisian cultural and leisure sites that have seen the greatest increase in attendance between 2020 and 2021 are the Pantheon (+64.9%), the Musée de l'Orangerie (+64.5%) and the Centre Pompidou (+64.3%). The emblematic monuments of the City of Light recorded a more discreet growth in their attendance, such as the Louvre Museum (+4.6%), the Eiffel Tower (+30.3%) and the Arc de Triomphe (+19.1%).

As for the outlook for 2022, the upturn in attendance at the major tourist sites in Ile-de-France should continue its good momentum. This will enable the capital to once again shine on the international tourist scene. The MICE sector is also experiencing an upturn in its performance, with 103 exhibitions organised in the last quarter of 2021.

It remains to be seen whether this optimistic dynamic will last despite the geopolitical context made complicated by the war in Ukraine. According to the CRT Paris Île-de-France, this situation should offer prospects that are "probably different" from those imagined a few days before the Russian military invasion.

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