Travelling to France: what are the expectations of European travellers?

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Travelling to France: what are the expectations of European travellers?

Travelling to France :
What are the expectations of European travellers?

The European Traveller Intelligence Monitor (ETIM), Interface Tourism Insights’ new data tool, reveals this month what European travellers expect when in France, what is the profile of European tourists wishing to visit France and how their interests and habits vary from country to country. The four European markets analysed for this study show interesting disparities: the Spanish are looking for nature holidays with accommodation in the countryside and ecotourism activities, the Italians want small local accommodation and cultural city breaks, the Germans prefer to rent their own homes and relax, and the Dutch are looking for more luxurious accommodation and active holidays.

With a panel of 20,000 people surveyed across 13 European countries, including 10,000 in the 4 markets concerned (3,000 in Germany, 3,000 in Spain, 3,000 in Italy and 1,000 in the Netherlands), the ETIM platform combines 5.7 million data points to offer a detailed analysis of travel trends.

  • Contrasting perceptions and knowledge of French tourism products

Based on an algorithm that combines three reference criteria (perception of a destination, awareness of its tourism offer and experience on site), the ETIM platform provides a barometer of the image and awareness of 100 destinations around the world. However, France does not seem to occupy the same position on this barometer depending on the European markets. Although it is always in the top 20, it is at the top of the ranking for Spain (France in 4th position) and Italy (7th position), but it is in the next ten for the Netherlands (France in 16th position) and Germany (17th position).

  • But an overall positive image and a clear desire to visit!

Even if awareness of French tourism products is uneven among Europeans, they do agree on the positive image they have of the destination. Undisputed fans of the Hexagon, 91% of Spaniards have a positive image of France, 68% would like to go there on holiday and 34% are planning to go there in the next three years. Among Italians, a similar observation can be made: 87% of them have a positive image of France, 60% would like to go there on holiday and 26% see themselves going there in the next three years. The image remains very good among Germans: 84% of them have a positive perception of France, 45% would like to visit and 15% within the next three years. The figures are similar for the Dutch: 81% have a positive image of France, 40% would like to go and 18% within three years.

  • Important deciding factors for Europeans: nature, safety and seaside

When looking at the 30 most important criteria for travellers when choosing a destination, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German tourists wishing to visit France all seem to agree on the three most important factors for them:

nature and outdoor activities, which is the number one criterion for the Germans, Italians and Dutch.

– the level of safety standards, especially for the Spanish, among whom it is the most important criterion for 61% of respondents.

– the possibility of going to the beach, which is given great importance by 27% of Germans, 23% of Spaniards, 22% of Italians and 20% of Dutch.

  • To each their own France: very different profiles and holiday types

Germans in France: boomers looking for independence and relaxation
The majority of Germans who expressed their desire to visit France are in the 50-64 age group, followed closely by the 35-49 yo. These working people with means tend to rent their own holiday home (51%) or stay in independent 3-4* hotels (39%). The type of vacation they favour are beach holidays (66%), relaxing holidays (53%) – which can be accompanied by wellness activities such as yoga, retreats or spas (32%) or a visit to an amusement park – and city breaks (47%). But they also appreciate cultural stays and culinary experiences.

Italians in France: Generation X with a thirst for authenticity
Among Italians, it is mainly the 35-49 yo (38%) who want to discover France. These working families and couples prefer smaller-sized or authentic accommodations: independent mid-range hotels (42%) and Bed and Breakfasts (40%). While they like beach holidays (65%), they also appreciate urban holidays (42%) and cultural or historical holidays (40%). They are sensitive to accessibility issues and LGBT+-friendly destinations.

The Dutch in France: millennials looking for comfort
The 18-34 yo are by far the majority (37%) of Dutch people wishing to visit France. They prefer to rent a holiday home (45%), or even opt for a resort (26%) or a 5* luxury hotel (25%). They appreciate seaside (52%) and urban holidays (40%), but also cultural (36%) or sporting holidays (active holidays such as hiking, climbing, surfing: 14% / ski holidays: 12%). They value soft mobility and ecotourism activities.

Spaniards in France: 35-49 year olds in slow tourism mode
Spaniards interested in holidays in France also tend to be from the X generation, with 40% of them aged from 35 to 49yo. They target independent 3-4* hotels (46%), but also accommodation in the countryside (farmhouses, cottages, etc.) for 37% of them. They are keen on seaside holidays (67%) and relaxing (40%), as well as cultural holidays (47%). They embrace slow tourism: they like to interact with locals, meet new people and value low carbon activities & transport.

Alice Kabanoff Interface Tourism

Alice Kabanoff

Account Director

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