Portugal and France have, this week, reported a full recovery of their tourism offerings, with visitor numbers and revenues returning to pre-pandemic levels in both countries.
The French government’s tourism department estimated, this week, that tourism revenues have outpaced pre-pandemic levels as US tourists – looking to take advantage of the weakening euro – have flocked to Paris and Riviera locations in the south of the country.
The department noted that visitor numbers from mainland Europe have been strong also. The French government said that tourism spend was 10% higher, this summer, than the 2019 holiday season.
Tourism revenue accounts for 8% of France’s GDP and the industry employs around two million people.
France was attracting approximately 90 million visitors a year by 2019, but the government expects that figure to hit 100 million people over the next couple of years as France hosts major sporting events like the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, official data in Portugal has shown that visitor numbers to that country returned to pre-Covid levels in July, with 1.8 million people travelling to the Iberian country for their sun fix this summer.
That was above the same month in 2019, despite Portugal still having some Covid restrictions in place. Tourism accounts for 15% of Portugal’s economy. So far this year, the country has attracted just over 8 million visitors – about 1 million short of the same period in 2019.
Spain, the US and the UK were the top three countries for in-bound visitor numbers in July.