France wants tourists to spend up

2nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 1 (AFP) - The French government said Wednesday it was looking at ways to boost spending by the millions of tourists who visit France every year with the aim of catching up with countries like Spain, whose cheaper prices generate bigger income.

PARIS, Dec 1 (AFP) - The French government said Wednesday it was looking at ways to boost spending by the millions of tourists who visit France every year with the aim of catching up with countries like Spain, whose cheaper prices generate bigger income.

Even though France is still the top tourist destination in the world, with some 75 million visitors a year, it lags behind the United States and Spain when it comes to generating revenue from that cachet, junior tourism minister Leon Bertrand said.

The government's aim was to boost France from third place to first by getting tourists to spend EUR 40 billion (USD 53 billion) in 2010, almost a third more than the EUR 32.3 billion currently received, he said.

The United States earns around USD 90 billion (EUR 70 billion) from tourists, while Spain brings in some EUR 36 billion, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

"The ball is in the court of the (tourist) professionals," Bertrand said, calling on them to be especially aware that France's prices are often considered too expensive.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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