The economic downturn-related decline in ‘travel’ has halted and is now on the rise, with the increase in UK Air Passenger Duty favouring ‘close to home’ destinations such as France. Britons spend some 55 billion euros annually in France. That France appears more and more to be a ‘high price’ ‘more exclusive’ destination can be seen as both a drawback and an advantage to be exploited (especially by luxury hotel barges).

France is the most popular UK tourist destination, after the UK itself (before Spain) and nine million UK visitors go to France each year. 70% (i.e six million) of these visits were tourism/leisure/recreational in nature, with 50% of bookings being made within three months of the visit.

It is easy to assume therefore that the British ‘know’ France but this is not necessarily the case – they need to be guided in order to appreciate regional attractions, local specialities and particular activities (like, for example, waterways related holidays).

[Source: Atout France, UK Office of National Statistics]   > Inland Waterway Tourism and the French Economy <