France to Launch Investment Fund, Campaign Aimed at Boosting Tourism
France has held the title of world's most visited country for three-plus decades. But in an effort to welcome 100 million tourists by the year 2020, the country is planning to launch a tourism fund aimed at boosting its allure, according to Reuters.
"Tourism is a national treasure that needs to be protected, nurtured and developed - that's the aim of all these measures," said France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius discussing the Tourism Investment Fund, which will launch in the coming months.
The fund will be used to bolster accommodations and attractions across the country as well as to help get the word out about what France has to offer.
But the efforts won't stop there.
Officials are also prepared to begin a publicity campaign designed to encourage French citizens to be more welcoming to tourists. Discussing the attitudes of French natives toward foreign visitors, Fabius said that the "we have room for improvement here."
"When we come up against a foreign tourist, we are all ambassadors for France," said Fabius via Reuters.
The response comes in the wake of a report from France's tourism promotion council that warned "studies show that our performance in terms of welcome is below par," according to Henry Samuel of the Telegraph.
"The country is considered a must-see destination where expectations are high...but satisfaction ratings are 30 per cent below the European average in terms of price-quality ratio," said the report.
France hosted a whopping 84 million visitors in 2014. In addition to accounting for two million jobs across the country, tourism accounts for seven percent of France's overall wealth, per Samuel.
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