Paris has been resilient as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, despite a host of challenges related to security, accommodation and overcrowding. With a clear focus on reinventing the city for the modern traveller by transforming its infrastructure, culture and attractions, Paris is well placed to compete with emerging cities vying to become the tourist destination of choice. This report outlines Paris’s strategy to attract new (and old) holidaymakers to visit the French capital.
The charm offensive to woo back tourists frightened off by the terror attacks of 2015 in Paris and Nice has been so successful that France is now struggling to cope with record numbers of visitors, bringing fears of over-tourism. After an exceptional year in terms of international tourist arrivals to Paris in 2017, 2018 tourism is forecast to beat all the records, even though growth in visitors from China and Japan is slowing.
Paris has an opportunity to capitalise on the nervousness shown by multinationals to locate in London in the wake of the Brexit vote, and to attract new companies to the fast-growing La Défense business district.
Paris is investing heavily in its infrastructure as part of the Grand Paris project, which will see faster connections between the city and its two major airports, as well as improving links within the core city and the suburbs.
The city is ranked the second most expensive in Europe for hotel room rates, which has led to the rapid increase of Airbnb listings. Paris needs to build several affordable hotels to appeal to visitors with lower disposable incomes. Battling against the effects of online letting services, such as Airbnb, the city council is targeting "professionals disguised as amateurs”.
The “city of light” is transforming itself into a sporting mecca. Already host to some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, the 2024 summer Olympics will take place in Paris. Furthermore, the victory of “les Bleus” in the FIFA world cup during the summer of 2018 is a spotlight for France, Paris and its tourism.
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