Governance and organisation


As of 2014, there are two ministerial departments who are explicitly responsible for tourism: The Ministry in charge of foreign affairs and the Ministry in charge of the economy.


As well as social tourism, the Ministry in charge of the economy is more specifically responsible for following the various professions in the industry, investments (except for foreign investments), maintaining the legal framework and EU-relations. The Ministry in charge of foreign affairs is more specifically responsible for promoting the industry internationally, the international establishment and development of French companies, the path followed by tourists (visas, hospitality, international connectivity, security, etc.) and international partners.


Since July 2016, the “Conseil interministériel du Tourisme” (CIT), a coordination body chaired by the Prime Minister, has been responsible for ensuring that the activities of all departments involved are coherent. It enables the different ministerial departments to work together on priority projects, such as training, investment, digitalisation and promotion. It meets every 6 months to discuss specific, topics selected prior to the meeting.

France, the world's leading tourism destination


With nearly 87 million foreign visitors in 2017, France is the number one tourism destination in the world. Tourism is a key industry in the French economy: it accounts for more than 7,1% of the GDP and two million direct and indirect jobs. The holiday departure rate of French people was 73,1 % in 2016. They took 194,8 million trips for personal reasons, 68,7 % of which were in mainland France.


Studies relating to the tourism industry in France are carried out or published by the following official national bodies:

  • DGE (Direction générale des entreprises),
  • INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques),
  • Banque de France.

Given its importance, the tourism industry was given a priority status by the State, which set the objective of reaching 100 million international tourists and 50 billion euros in income by 2020. This should create an additional 300 000 jobs throughout mainland France and also in its overseas territories.

The six priority areas of government action


The attractiveness of France as a holiday destination is due, not only to the quality of marketing, but also because of the wealth of its offer in all fields: culture, tangible and intangible heritage, vibrant artistic creation, cultural and creative industries, language, art of living, … The Government intends to strengthen this attractiveness by taking and encouraging measures in six priority areas:

  1. Quality of hospitality and security at tourism sites, crucial factors in order to satisfy and retain tourists. The improvement requires, for instance, speed in delivering visas. The effort towards quality translates, among other things, into modernising and promoting the official trademark “Qualité TourismeTM”.
  2. Structuring the tourism offer, in order to attract an increasing number of international tourists to the entire country, including its overseas territories. This action not only implies structuring certain industries (such as eco-tourism), but also continuing the concept of “destination contracts”, which enable all stakeholders to work together on the offer in a particular location.
  3. Supporting investments, a fundamental aspect of the Government strategy to improve the quality of our offer and enhance connectivity. This requires improving how existing investment funds are utilised.
  4. Training and employment are key areas of service quality and an important factor in combatting unemployment, given the significant number of jobs created thanks to the development of tourism.
  5. Supporting digitalisation and information sharing to strengthen the competitiveness of the sector on a global level. This action includes the development of the “DataTourisme”-project, (compiling tourism figures and providing them as open data), supporting the “France Tourisme Lab” incubator network and modernising the “Veille Info Tourisme” economic intelligence system.
  6. Access to holidays for all, including those with disabilities. Not only is this a social issue, but it is also a key source for competitiveness as regards holiday destinations. This resolute policy in favour of accessibility entails, amongst other things, modernising and adding value to the official trademarks “Tourisme et Handicap” and “Destination pour tous”.