La France s'est jointe à la course pour séduire à nouveau les touristes en déplacement après un an de verrouillages nationaux et de restrictions de voyage Covid-19, lançant une campagne de plusieurs millions d'euros destinée principalement aux Européens. </p><div> <p>"La France est un peu le monde en miniature", a déclaré mardi Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, le jeune ministre au ministère des Affaires étrangères en charge du tourisme.
“These are 50 shades of vacation. Everyone can choose their own, ”he added.
France, which is at the end of a severe third wave of Covid-19 and has followed Britain and the United States in vaccinations, faces fierce competition from other favorite destinations that have been less affected by the pandemic.
On Tuesday, France launched the #ExploreFrance campaign to promote the country’s way of life, including its gastronomy and culture, in 10 European markets – Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Comparing the campaign to that of Switzerland, which is led by tennis champion Roger Federer, the head of the French tourism development agency, Caroline Leboucher, said that France had aroused “more emotion” than the Switzerland’s “cold sanitary perfection”.
France, where bars and restaurants are due to reopen from May 19 after being closed for nearly seven months, is also counting on domestic visitors to support the struggling tourism sector.
Lemoyne urged the French to go “blue, white and red” for the holidays. “Our tourism operators have suffered a lot. “
France said visitors to the EU and a handful of other countries, including Britain and Israel, will be required to show a negative PCR test upon arrival.
Visitors from most non-EU countries, including the United States, are officially banned from entering unless they can prove “compelling” reasons for traveling.
French President Emmanuel Macron gave June 9 as the provisional date for the return of non-European tourists.
The European Commission has suggested it will open up trips to vaccinated American tourists this summer.
Italy, Greece and Spain
Tourism revenues in France amounted to 57 billion euros in 2019, a year before the pandemic, or around 7.5% of GDP.
Europeans made up three quarters of the tourists received by France before the health crisis.
But competition is more intense this year for travelers, who are expected to be spending heavily on what will be many their first vacation abroad in over a year.
Italy, which is counting on a tourism revival to emerge from a deep recession, said last week it was ready to welcome travelers again.
“It’s time for you to book your vacation in Italy! Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.
Greece, Iceland and Croatia have already lifted restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers from EU countries, as well as the United States, Britain and Israel, to ensure that they don’t lose reservations.
Greece boasts of the virtues of sunny “Covid-free” islands where everyone is vaccinated against the virus.
Croatia, for its part, has drawn up a map of “Covid-free zones” on its islands.
As for Spain, it expects to welcome around 45 million foreign tourists in 2021, just over half of the number that came in 2019 before the outbreak of the pandemic, the tourism minister said on Wednesday.
“It’s a cautious but realistic forecast,” Reyes Maroto told reporters. “We can recover half of the international tourists we had in 2019.”
The second most popular destination in the world after France, Spain recorded 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019, according to official figures.
EU-wide digital health pass
With the holiday season set to start next month, the European Commission is under increasing pressure to finalize a much-anticipated EU-wide digital health pass.
The pass, which will allow fully vaccinated people who have previously had Covid-19 or tested negative for the virus to travel to the block, is seen as a key tool in saving the summer vacation period.
While it will initially only be used for travel within Europe, the EU is working on mutual recognition of the pass with certificates from third countries, in particular from the United States.