People, Travel

Brexit Impact on French Tourism

Brexit Impact on French TourismBrexit Impact on French Tourism

The vote by the UK to leave the EU and the subsequent fall in the value of the pound may make France too expensive for many British holidaymakers.

According to, with the value of the British currency tumbling, it’s likely that many Britons will be forced to turn their backs on their favored tourist destination, which may soon be out of their budget.

On Friday, the value of the pound was at €1.19, whereas prior to the June 23 referendum it had been around €1.40. Some analysts have suggested that the currencies will eventually reach parity.

Nevertheless, the slide in value of the pound may hit bookings by British tourists, according to French travel industry umbrella group Les Entreprises du Voyage.

“It is absolutely double-edged: Britain will attract more French people but it is bad news for the French economy as fewer British tourists will come to France because it will be a more expensive destination,” said the group’s president, Jean-Pierre Mas.

That would be bad news for the many British expats in France who work in the tourism industry and whose livelihoods depend greatly on visitors from Britain.

Although four million French people take short holidays in Britain every year, there are 12 million Britons who do the same in France, according to French online travel site Easyvoyage chairman, Jean-Pierre Nadir.

Brexit risks hurting tourism in areas favored by British holidaymakers such as the west of France, and especially Normandy, Nadir told AFP.

On the flip side, the fall in the pound could mean good news for the British tourism industry.

Online queries for European holiday flights to Britain soared after its voters chose to abandon the EU, travel websites reported, offering a glimmer of hope for tourism in the country.

Searches for flights from France to Britain surged 130% on June 24 from a day earlier, when the results were announced, according to data provided by holiday booking site Kayak, which says it handles some 1.5 billion travel searches a year.

Rival Paris-based holiday booking site, which claims four million unique online visitors a month, said web interest in Paris-London flights rose 34% from June 23 to 26.

“It is too early to say for sure but the first trends we have seen and the devaluation of the British currency suggest that interest in the UK as a destination will be maintained in the weeks ahead, especially for European passengers interested in ‘city breaks’  to London to go shopping,” said in a statement sent to AFP.