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HomeRegional NewsEuropeThe number of international tourist arrivals to France rose again in 2002 for the seventh year in a row

The number of international tourist arrivals to France rose again in 2002 for the seventh year in a row

Initial figures released by the French Secretary of State for Tourism, Leon Bertrand, indicate that France retained its position as…

Initial figures released by the French Secretary of State for Tourism, Leon Bertrand, indicate that France retained its position as the world`s most visited destination with a total of 76.7 million arrivals, an increase of 2% on the previous year.



According to Mr Bertrand, the increase signifies the resilience of tourism to France in the face of a difficult international context marked by terrorism and economic uncertainty.



Despite the fall in the number of visitors from the United States and Japan, France witnessed growth from markets closer to home, most notably from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. The level of spending by overseas tourists rose by an estimated 2.4%.



With 14,971 million arrivals in 2002, the UK remains the most important market for France, followed closely by Germany. In the past five years, the number of UK arrivals has gone from 11.8 million to just under 15 million, a rise of 21%.



Commenting on the figures, Christian Lepage, UK Director of Maison de la France, said: We are cautiously optimistic that we can consolidate on last

year`s growth. Bookings have been a little slow to start this year, in line with the industry as a whole, but we believe that people will still want to take short breaks, even in these troubled times.

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