Last updated: March 14, 2022, by Grant Thomas

🔖Cite this webpage (Thomas, Grant. “2020 France Travel Statistics & Data”., March 14, 2022,

Note: The latest France statistics and travel data available about France is for 2020. We will update this page as soon as France’s 2021 travel data and statistics are available.     

Highlights: 2020 France Tourism Statistics & Trends 

Covid’s Impact on Schengen Visa Applications for France & Tourism in France

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in France and other European countries dramatically affected the tourism sector, leading to a sharp drop in the number of arrivals and economic losses of over 60 billion euros.  

In mid-March, the French government adopted a number of restrictive measures to curb the contagion, causing a 66% drop in tourist arrivals in the first seven months of 2020. 

As France is the world’s leading tourist destination with the most popular tourist attractions, the drop off in tourists arrivals had a significant impact on the French economy. 

Travel Main PurposeMarket ShareOctober 2021 (Compared with October 2019)
Business trips9.7%-56.9%
Leisure purposes 78.8%-47.1%
Visit family and friends6.4%-20.4%
Total international arrivals100.0%-51.3%

International Arrivals in Metropolitan France in October 2021 Compared with October 2019 (%)

Schengen Visa Applications and Tourism in France – 2020 Trends

○ France’s Schengen Visa approval rate from 2015 to 2020

○ Countries that submitted the highest number of Schengen Visa applications for France from 2015 to 2020

○ Contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in France from 2015 to 2020

○ International tourist expenditure in France from 2015 to 2020

Note: Tourist expenditure includes all expenses for goods and services received in the destination country, except when these are important enough to justify separate classification. 

○ In 2020, France ranked no. 1 for the number of Schengen Visa applications received

○ Top 5 countries that submitted the highest number of Schengen Visa applications for France in 2020

○ Approval rates for the countries that submitted the highest number of Schengen Visa applications for France in 2020

○ Top 5 third countries that had the highest rejection rates for the Schengen Visa for France in 2020


European Commission – Statistics on short-stay visas issued by the Schengen States 

European Travel Commission – EUROPEAN TOURISM: TRENDS & PROSPECTS Quarterly report (Q2/2021) 

EUROSTAT – Tourism Statistics 

STATISTA – Travel and Tourism in France

Wikipedia – Tourism in France

INSEE – National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies   

Atout France – Note de conjoncture de l’économie touristique  

Forward Keys – 2021 in Review – The Top 8 Travel Trends