Research Insights Recovery continues in French travel market

Recovery continues in French travel market

December 2019
Phocuswright Research

Recovery continues in French travel market

This report provides a top-level overview of the French travel market, including background, key characteristics, market structure, and major players and trends in each segment. For more detailed 2019 data and analysis, see the following related publications:
France Online Travel 2019: Key Developments
France Online Travel 2019: By the Numbers

Following several challenging years, recovery continues in the French travel market, according to Phocuswright’s latest travel research report, France Online Travel Overview 2019. Since the election of reformist President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, the country has reduced its budget deficit while curtailing unemployment and restoring consumer confidence. Unfortunately, the country's reputation as a destination was badly affected by the violent Yellow Vest protests in early 2019, which disrupted locals and tourists alike. And the travel sector's reputation has also been tarnished by several high-profile bankruptcies in late 2019, most notably the collapse of industry giant Thomas Cook and the failures of the number two and three French airline players — XL Airways France and Agile Azur. Though unrelated, these near-simultaneous events have cast an air of malaise over the French travel market, casting a dark shadow over what would otherwise have been a stellar year.

That being said, the short- to medium-term outlook is more favorable. Leisure travel — inbound, domestic and outbound — is on the rise. International visitors have returned, while French consumers have resumed their traditional habit of taking a long summer vacation along with multiple shorter (typically domestic) trips throughout the year.

Phocuswright Chart: France Online and Total Travel Market Gross Bookings 2017-2023
(Click image to view a larger version.)

Consequently, the medium-term outlook for travel remains positive. With the exception of a near-term correction caused by the Thomas Cook crisis, what is expected to be sustained growth has resumed in the key tour operator sector. And given strong domestic and international visitor numbers, the rail, hotel and car rental segments should continue to expand as well. The French travel market is projected to grow modestly in the medium term, climbing from €47.0 billion in 2019 to €49.9 billion by 2023.

This report provides an overview of the French travel market, including key characteristics, market structure and major players in each segment. To read the full report, purchase it here. The entire series includes France Online Travel 2019: Key Developments and France Online Travel 2019: By the Numbers.

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