01.08.2021 Europe

Fifty million visitors expected in France this summer despite Covid pandemic

AP - Michel Euler
LISTEN AUG 1, 2021
AP - Michel Euler

French minister for tourism Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said that the 50 million foreign visitors, mainly from Europe, are expected in France this summer, while the international tourists from further afield will largely remain absent due to the strict travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In an interview with the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, Lemoyne said that France is expected to receive 50 million foreign tourists compared to 35 million last year and 90 million in 2019.

He said that while tourists from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands are present, there are less British tourists due to the strict restrictions put in place for by their government for their return. 

He stated that international clientele from outside Europe is still largely lacking.

"A few Americans have been coming back since June, but we won't see Asian tourists again until 2022. And Paris is still suffering from a lack of business tourism," he added.

Lemoyne pointed out that many French people are likely to spend their holidays in France. He added that with the arrival of the fourth wave of Covid-19 epidemic the world over, many French people are choosing to rediscover their country's territories.

"In 2020, 94 percent of the French who went on holiday chose France. This year, the figure is already 80 percent and will probably be around 85 percent." 

This June, members of the European Parliament endorsed a new travel certificate that will allow people to move between EU states without facing quarantine or extra coronavirus tests, paving the way for the pass to start in time for summer.

The passes are to be issued by individual nations, not from a centralised European system. They will contain a QR code with advanced security features. Personal data will not be shared with other countries.

(with AFP)

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