The number of Australians visiting France is heading back towards 2015 levels, according to Atout France which has reported signs of recovery after last year’s slump in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
The deputy director of Atout France in Australia, Marc Humphries, said data on French visa applications had shown substantial growth in the first quarter of 2017.
“Tourist visa applications for France are showing a significant 32% increase and the Paris Ile de France (region) has reported a 12.6% increase in international bed nights,” he said.
Humphries said the average Australian spent 14 days in France and visited Paris, the Riviera, Provence and many of the country’s famous wine regions. World War I battlefields had been extremely popular, especially around the centennial anniversary of World War I.
“The new Sir John Monash centre near Villers-Bretonneux will generate considerable interest,” he said of the museum due to open next year at the existing Australian National War Memorial north of Paris.
To capitalise on renewed interest, Atout France will hold trade events later this year for the regions of Champagne, Burgundy, and for the first time Brittany. Next year the organisation will hold its France Workshops in September 2018 in Sydney and Melbourne.