The Americans are back: France sees massive jump in tourism in 2023

american france tourism

Despite high prices and inflation concerns, thousands of Americans are falling in love all over again with their perennially favourite destination: France.  

While some of it may be down to the “Emily in Paris” effect, thousands of American tourists are flooding into the French capital and the Côte d’Azur after years of “staycationing” brought on primarily by the travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic.  

Nothing, not even high prices, cost of living woes or inflation, is keeping travellers from the States away from France this year, with data from US-based AAA Travel showing a 40% leap in bookings through May of this year, going up an additional 14.4% for July and August, surpassing even 2019 levels by 5%.  


France’s tourism sector has made an astounding recovery, with last year adding an eye-watering €57.9 billion to the coffers of businesses and touristic sites all over the country. Americans alone spent €5.5 billion – up 34% compared to three years ago – despite overall US tourist numbers being down from 4.7 million in 2019 to 3.7 million in 2022.  

This can partly be explained by the “type of American coming to France. The wealthy and über-wealthy, who have seen increased buying power, are hearty spenders when they go abroad. A study put out by Atout France, France’s tourism development agency, found that this group, on average, stays eight days, alone or as couples, in four-to-five-star accommodations or châteaux, and belong typically to Generation X or those born between 1965 and 1980.  

France is also appealing to Americans due to the dollar to euro exchange rate, which is pretty favourable at the moment, and after years of travel privations, they are ready to treat themselves.  

Whilst the vast majority go to Paris, up to 70% by some accounts, the Côte d’Azur still holds mythical status for Americans, and many make detours to the region or come to stay outright.  


Though the numbers aren’t yet in for the 2023 summer season, they appear to be keeping up with those from last summer, despite the spring figures being slightly lower than the previous year. Americans account for 12% of the total number of tourists to the region, second only to Germans.  

With multiple direct flights from the US into Nice Airport, it’s a convenient place to travel to, and as people look for more than just sun, sea and sand out of their holidays, the region has kept pace, offering a plethora of cultural events like art shows, music festivals and theatre, as well as sporting events, such as the Ironman, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters for tennis and the upcoming Rugby World Cup, which is expected to attract 140,000 tourists from all backgrounds.  

Basically, this means that when walking down the streets of Monaco, Nice or Cannes this summer, expect to hear plenty of American English again. They’re back and they’re ready to spend! 


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Photo source: Kit Suman, Unsplash