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Analysis

Length of stay: Spain in the lead for keeping its visitors longer

Many visitors cross France’s borders each year, making it the first destination worldwide in terms of arrivals. This is good news, however, its neighbors, while they have fewer visitors, keep them on their territory longer. In this game, Spain is in the lead when it comes to keeping its visitors.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom all have high hopes for attracting tourists. While France has proved its worthiness for the title of most desirable destination in terms of arrivals, analyses of lengths of stay offer another perspective.

In fact, lengths of stay in France are always shorter than at its European neighbors, especially for non-residents, who stay an average of 2.2 days on French territory. This is partly due to a higher share of business travel (with stays that are generally shorter than those of leisure clientele) than in Spain where non-resident stays are 4.5 days in the country on average. Italy and the United Kingdom complete a podium where Spain is on the highest step. Germany, meanwhile, has lengths of stay that are comparable to France's, although the share of business travelers is greater.

We know that internationalization plays an important role in tourism revenues, and that the length of stay of non-residents is longer, at least when they are leisure travelers. This explains Spain's dominance in Western Europe. This does not change France's position as number-one destination in terms of arrivals, but it must be kept in mind that France is less successful than its neighbors at keeping its visitors. In this regard, Germany and France are well behind Spain which is Europe's champion.
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