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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

France gets more PH tourists despite no direct flights

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DESPITE the lack of direct flights, France on Wednesday, through its embassy in Manila, welcomed the increasing number of Filipino tourists who visited the country last year.

The French Embassy reported that 88-million visitors—of the number 90,000 were Filipino tourists or 20 percent—visited France in 2017.

The increase, the embassy said, was due to France’s hosting of 50,000 religious sites and 10,000 of which were protected as “historic buildings.”

“This kind of promotion on pilgrimages seeks to plant fruitful seeds into the market and maintain France’s position as the European destination for Filipino travelers,” French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicolas Galey said.

To enhance further the tourism industry, the Lourdes Tourism Board, the Lisieux Tourism Board, the Alençon Tourism Board, and French hotel chain SEH United Hoteliers will return to the Philippines to touch base with the local media and the travel sector specializing in Christian pilgrimages.

The embassy, Atout France, and France’s Development Tourism Agency will then lead the delegation of French tourism professionals in Metro Manila and Cebu City from April 23 to 26 this year.

The embassy said this mission reflected the importance of the tourism industry in France. 

“France offers a wide variety of touristic experiences. It is this diversity that has made France the top tourist destination in the world, with 88-million visitors last year. This presents high stakes for our economy because the tourism sector represents 8 percent of France’s GDP and has created over two-million direct or indirect jobs,” Galey said.

He added that Asian travelers now played a significant role in the French tourism industry.

“And indeed, Filipino visitors will have a huge influence on Asian arrivals to France in the next decade,” he added.

In an effort to increase the number of Filipino tourists in France, the French Embassy in Manila implemented the delivery of visas in 48 hours less than a year ago.

Galey explained this roadshow was part of an ambitious action plan for the Filipino market. 

“In the past six months, we have organized three familiarization trips to France for about 40 Filipino travel agents to have a meaningful experience of French destinations. The goal for these agents was of course to earn enough knowledge to create innovative packages and so, quench the wanderlust of Filipino travelers craving for unique experiences,” he said.

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