France Market Overview

France Inbound Tourism Snapshot - Growth Market

2016 is expected to be the year of the “American Dream” in France. Moreover, 2015 French arrival figures exceeded expectations with the USA hosting 1.75 million French visitors, representing a 6% increase compared to 2014. Forecasts for 2017 remain strong. Even the dollar exchange rate and the geopolitical context didn’t seem to affect the French desire to travel to the US.* The only drawback is the inflation of on-the-ground expenses, which were compensated by attractive airfares, made available by new low-cost carriers entering the market and reduced fuel prices.
*Source:, January 22, 2015

France’s population is 66 million with a GDP of $2.4 trillion. France is the 6th largest international industrialized economy and the 2nd largest European (EU) industrialized economy. French employees enjoy 6 to 9 weeks of paid holidays per annum and an additional 11 public bank holidays per year. Paris is the largest city with 12.4 million inhabitants, followed by Lyon in the number two spot with 2.2 million inhabitants, Marseille with 1.7 million people, Toulouse: 1.3 million people and Lille: 1.2 million people make up the top five cities and almost 30% of the population.


 Travel Profile -  France 

 Travel South USA Region
 (12 state region)
2015 2014
Yr/Yr % Change
 Number of Visitors 124,000 124,000 0%
 Visitor Spending $70,060,000 $70,200,000 -0.2%
 Travel South Share of Market 7.1% 7.5% -5.3%
 Nights in Travel South USA Region 11.3 15.3 -26.1%
 States Visited 2.4 2.3 +4.3%
 Sources:  US Department of Commerce, Travel Market Insights


  • The French are very fond of music (Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Country), especially in small venues (juke joints, jazz clubs) or music festivals
  • When traveling in the South, the French want to learn about the history and culture. Plantation tours are in high demand, especially with French-speaking guides or with French descriptions
  • According to a study by Expedia*, 78% of French people enjoy having a culinary event during their holiday (which is the highest percentage in Europe)
  • 41.5% of French people look for the best restaurants before they start planning their holiday
  • A vast majority of French people (90.5%) like to be adventurous when it comes to trying local cuisine; they are interested in barbecue, fresh seafood, and southern specialties like shrimp and grits, gumbo, and jambalaya
  • The French market is interested in the South for its charming accommodations, like B&B’s or boutique hotels
    *Source: Le tourisme gastronomique bat son plein auprès des voyageurs français selon » - April 2016

Airline Services to TSUSA Region*

  • Air France / Delta Air Lines nonstop service to
    • Atlanta : 2 daily flights, A330-300/ B767-300 – 292 and 210 seats
    • New flight: Raleigh/Durham: 1 daily flight - Boeing 757-200ER -164 seats
      (since May 13, 2016)
  • American Airlines nonstop service to Charlotte: 1 daily flight - A330-300 - 286 seats
    (seasonal, late March to late October)
  • New seasonal direct flight: May 3, 2017, to October 4, 2017: direct flight with Condor from Frankfurt to New Orleans twice a week with connections to main French cities: Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, and Nice.
  • Washington DC: 3 non-stop flights daily with Air France and United.
    *Source: Travel Trade press, US department of Commerce, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Condor


Express Conseil

Express Conseil is a travel promotion specialist, assisting international clients in developing communication strategy in the French speaking markets of Europe. With nearly 30 years of experience, Express Conseil provides strategic communication and PR positioning, trade show strategy, media campaigns, and press conferences.

Express Conseil
10 Park Avenue – Suite 10L
New York, NY 10016
Tel. +1 347 627 03 90 

Express Conseil
5bis, rue du Louvre
75001 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 44 77 88 00

Marina Dupuy Wedd -
Coline Chazaux-


Travel South USA has a year-round investment in travel trade strategies along with earned, owned and paid media to amplify our efforts in-market, including travel trade workshops/training regional road shows, recruitment of tour operators buyers to International Showcase, social media campaigns, cooperative event marketing with Brand USA and cooperative advertising efforts B2C.


 Monthly Reporting
 Tour Operator Brochure Analysis
 Tourism Economics & Travel Market Insights Commissioned Studies

small_TravelTrade.pngTravel Trade

 International Showcase & Super FAMs Atlanta, GA & Region November 28 - December 3, 2016
 Mahana Lyon Consumer Fair Lyon, France March 2017
 VUSACOM Workshops Marseille & Lyon, France November 2017
 International Showcase & Super FAMs Charleston, SC & Region November 27 - December 2, 2017
 Visit USA France Membership

small_TravelTrade.pngEarned, Owned, & Paid Media

 Group Media Journalist FAM Tour Alabama & Georgia Oct/Nov 2016
 Travel South USA Inspiration Guide - French Version
 Produced by Brand USA / Miles Media
 Group Media Journalist FAM Tour North Carolina, South Carolina, & Georgia May 2017
 Social Media Campaign on
 Post every other day w/ paid campaigns & contests
 Dedicated Content on
 2+ million page visits and 911k unique visitors in 2015
 Outreach includes press releases, newsletters, & Google  News
 E-Newsletter to Trade & Media   Quarterly