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France is the most visited country in the world. Here’s why


You might think a large country like the United States is the most visited in the world, but you’d be wrong — France takes that honor.

According to French statistics, there were 90 million tourists from abroad who visited the country in 2019. Tourism accounts for 8% of the country’s gross domestic product. ministry of foreign affairs. Like other countries, tourism numbers plummeted during the coronavirus epidemic. Revenue from France visitors was reduced by half in the first seven months 2020.

France is a country that has many mountains and wineries. It also boasts famous landmarks, stunning coastlines, and a rich wine-making history. thousands of years old. (Spain is second with 83.5million tourists in 2019, followed closely by the United States at 79.3million, as per the The. World Tourism Organization).

On top of that, France is easily accessible from neighboring European countries, is relatively small and has a certain “je ne sais quoi” — something that you can’t quite put your finger on — those who know the country well told CNBC.

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There is something for everybody

A vineyard and a business span eight generations in the Urville area, where grapevines were planted for the first time around 2,000 year ago.

Charline Drappier works with her grandfather, two parents, and two brothers to run the Champagne Drappier family label. Charline Drappier said that Champagne Drappier’s vineyard is particularly popular with people from the U.S.A, Italy and Belgium. The variety of France is what draws people to France, she says.

Charline Drappier, her family and friends at the vineyard of Champagne, France.

Courtesy: Philippe Martineau | Champagne Drappier

“You can travel in quite a small patch of the world and the diversity … will be cultural or just natural,” she told CNBC by phone. “Everyone finds something that they want to discover about France … in the history, in obviously the Alps, the beach, the complete wilderness, and also lot of a cultural [interests].”

Virtuoso has France as a top choice for its clients, according to Vice President Misty Belles. The network consists of experts and travel agents.

Paris, France: The Eiffel Tower

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France is a country that attracts people because of its exquisite cuisine and culture. But, most importantly, France’s unique feeling of being there. She added that France has a special romance. Like Drappier, Belles says France’s variety is part of its appeal, and the country is more easily traveled than others: “Given the size of the country, it’s easily navigated … without traveling vast distances as you do within the U.S.”

Belles has visited France 20 times and Paris remains a highlight of her life. Belles said that she reaches a place where her soul is missing Paris because I have been away for too long.

Pau in south-west France

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Drappier has fond memories of southwest France. Pau was her top pick, due to its stunning views over the Pyrenees mountain ranges.

Drappier took her baby girl, her husband, and a few other family members on a trip to Le Massif Central in the initial year of the pandemic. This was a remote mountainous area in the southern part of France that Drappier had no knowledge about. Her highlight was the remote Aubrac area. She spoke highly of Restaurant Serge Vieira. It has two. MichelinIts views over the countryside are what make it a star. Le Suquet also came up, which was a popular suggestion by Sherry. Sebastian Bras made it the most talked-about restaurant in 2018. gave up his three Michelin starsHe said he didn’t want to cook in such a stressful environment.

Drappier likes Philippe Starck’s hotel La Coorniche. It is located on the grounds of an old 1930s hunting lodge, about an hour south of Bordeaux. Alice Cap Ferret is also recommended by Drappier, who recommends it as an excellent bookstore and wine merchant.

Both practical and emotionally appealing

Michael Baynes from the U.K., who relocated to France fifteen years ago, also loves Cap Ferret. It is a residential neighborhood that runs for two miles on a peninsula with a finger shape. It is described as being “very chic” by Baynes, who describes it as a popular spot for French vacationers.

France, Arcachon Bay Cap Ferret

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Baynes stated that France is extremely popular because of both emotional and practical reasons. France has a great infrastructure to host guests. It’s got excellent roads … transportation, whether it’s train, road or aircraft, it’s all relatively easy, so it is well-positioned to receive guests from all over the world,” he told CNBC by phone.

Most businesses in France have small or medium size. 99.9% of them employ less than 250 people. according to the OECD. Baynes stated that many smaller hotels are family-run businesses and offer “high quality” service. He said: “If youre online, and there’s nothing you want to do but go on the internet. [looking for]High quality rooms in Bordeaux are available. And these are … family-run businesses that often do terrific food as well.”

This medieval Chateau De Beynac looks out over the Dordogne River, France.

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“On the emotional side … it’s just a stunning place. I lived in Southern California, which some people consider as paradise, in a place called Orange County … and I moved [to France]Baynes explained that they started this business nearly 15 years ago. His real estate company Maxwell-Baynes, a Maxwell-Baynes-owned firm in Dordogne sells luxurious homes in Southwest France to American and French clients.

Baynes ranks La Rochelle as the most popular place to visit in France. It is a tiny beachside town located in west France. He rates it highly for its shops, restaurants, beaches and affordability. Baynes stated that the islands of Ile de Rey, and Ile d’Oleron are great for biking and eating seafood.

Cannes is his favorite place on the French Riviera. “I love the elegance of it … it’s a place where you can put on a particular jacket that you only save for certain occasions, or if it’s in the winter, you might put on your Moncler [coat]”