Despite jihadist attacks in Paris last year, France managed to retain its position of the most visited country in the world and even posted growth in 2015. That has become possible mostly thanks to increased number of visitors from Asia. In total, the country welcomed 84.5 million visitors in 2015, which is 0.9% higher than in 2014.
Naturally, terrorist attacks, which claimed lives of 130 people in Paris, had their negative effect on tourist industry and limited growth of the capital. At the same time, France enjoyed a growth of 22.7% in the number of Asian tourists. For the first time the number of visitors from China surpassed 2 million and estimated 2.2 million tourists. France was also visited by more than half a million of Indians. Simplified visa process may be one of major reasons for such success. In 2014, France reduced visa issuing process to 48 hours for tourists from China, Singapore and India.
France became more popular with US tourists in 2015. The number of visitors from this country increased by 15%, but such traditional source markets as Germany or Switzerland posted a dip of 1.5% in 2015. However, the decrease was compensated by tourists from the UK, Spain and Italy.
The French government has very ambitious plans concerning the development of the tourist industry. They plan to attract 100 million international tourists a year to France by 2020. In 2015, the country attracted 85 million foreign visitors. The government sees potential in Southeast Asia region and plans to launch advertising campaign there. This year, a series of culture and sporting events like Euro 2016 may help the country gear up its tourist industry and make people forget about terrorist attacks.