France has always been a popular tourist destination for Chinese tourists. Catherine AUDEN, general manager of Atout France's China office, recently told Guangzhou Daily, “France hosted a total of about 2.2 million Chinese tourists in 2019. France has long been popular with China. Tourist destination is favored by tourists. Since China's policy of gradually resuming outbound travel in early 2023 has been implemented, recently published results of relevant market research and recovery of Chinese travel market during Spring Festival gave us hope. In near future, we are cooperating with Chinese travel agencies. During communication, I also noticed that market demand for products such as self-guided travel and solo travel shows more obvious diversification and environmental trends.”
Photo courtesy of Catherine AUDEN
New route: improve food and outdoor recreation
France travel itinerary as a tourist destination now features many new itineraries and gameplay. For example, recently created all-round taste-seeking route "Gourmet Valley" - from Dijon in Burgundy through Lyon to Marseille in Provence in southern France, with almost 400 types of food and more than 30 all-round experiences in a 620-kilometer journey. Let tourists have opportunity to participate in daily lives of local people who eat, drink, cook and shop.
In addition, tourism products close to nature, such as cycling and camping on wheels, are also categories that France plans to discuss in detail with Chinese outbound tourism partners. Over past ten years, public investment in construction of cycle paths in France has continued to increase. There are currently over 20,000 kilometers of cycle paths planned in France. There are 7 routes covering several countries in Europe, and new routes are still being planned and completed every year.
It is clear that outdoor camping tourism products were quite popular in France last summer. France is a big country in Europe for outdoor camping, and number of campsites and number of RVs are leading in Europe. From small town of Chamonix at foot of Mont Blanc in Alps, to seaside campsites on Atlantic Ocean in southwest France, and campsites in lavender fields of Provence in southern France... it's rich and extreme.
Go to Provence in south of France to see lavender. Drawing by @Vision China
New attractions: a variety of immersive drawings and gourmet punch cards
In addition, many important scenic spots in France have been rebuilt in recent years. For example, Bordeaux's Pool of Light, Naval Palace in Paris, and recently opened Dijon International City of Food and Wine in May 2022 are new and innovative in France in tourist catering culture.
Biking along Seine in Paris, France. Drawing by @Vision China
New Theme: Natural Wellness and Sustainable Travel
Natural well-being and sustainable travel will be one of key themes for France's advancement in China's tourism market. During "Chinese-French Environment Month" in September last year, with theme "Blue Planet", France actively promoted natural resources of ecotourism in seven overseas territories. Most of these areas are islands, which are a prime example of sustainable tourism destinations in France. These areas not only have unspoiled and magnificent natural scenery, but also rich local cultural traditions, which have also given rise to a wealth of intangible cultural heritage, which is an important part of French culture and provides travelers with a fresh and varied experience.
Sustainable travel practices often reward travelers with unique perspectives and fresh experiences that are intimately connected to destination. For example, take a solar-powered boat or a transparent kayak to paddle through mangroves in waters of Martinique and paddle across extremely beautiful seabed of coral reefs, explore Amazon rainforest on foot and immerse yourself in noisy crowds Carnival in Guyana: spend an unforgettable night in Guyana in a floating eco-house, walk Mafate Circus and Fourne Volcano Lava Tunnel and watch a scenic day of Neri Peak in a wild and rebellious reunion. Saint Martin, surf like a Tahitian in quiet bay of Papeno, swim and snorkel in Guadeloupe and New Caledonia...
Text/Guangzhou Daily New Flower City Reporter: Luo Lei