France entices South-east Asian groups with more destinations


South-east Asian arrivals into Paris have risen from 2016 to 2017, prompting France Tourism Development Agency, Atout France, to develop more lures to spread the demand around the country.

Citing official figures, Atout France regional director – ASEAN, Morad Tayebi, said arrivals from major markets Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have grown significantly in 2017 over 2016.

Morad: Paris would make a good destination for corporate groups from South-east Asia

Indonesia topped the list in 2017 with 180,000 arrivals for leisure and business events, from 160,000 in 2016. This is followed by Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore at around 150,000 tourists each. In 2016, France received 140,000 visitors from Thailand and around 120,000 visitors from Singapore and Malaysia each.

Morad said business events arrivals from South-east Asia made up around 20 per cent of total footfalls.

This month Panorama JTB Tours Indonesia will set a new record for Indonesia as a source market with a 1,800-pax incentive group from the insurance sector, bound for Paris and spending four days in the French capital. It will be Indonesia’s single biggest incentive group to France.

Morad opined that Paris makes a hot destination for South-east Asian event groups because of its good air connections, wide range of restaurants catering to all kinds of dietary requirements and good shopping opportunities.

There is also a wide range of accommodation facilities, as Greater Paris has around 110,000 rooms, with 7,000 more coming online by 2020.

Going forward, Atout France will promote new destinations such as the Loire Valley region, Provence and Normandy to the South-east Asian markets, revealed Morad.

In 2019, the Loire Valley region in France will celebrate 500 years of Renaissance. A year-long celebration programme is currently being put together, and it will feature many events in castles and gardens in the Val-de-Loire region.

Francois Bonneau, Centre Val-de-Loire region’s president, said: “The programme will cover the major themes of Renaissance including heritage, arts and literature, music, architecture, gastronomy and craftsmanship.”

Being only 45 minutes to an hour’s drive from Paris, it makes sense for event planners to combine Paris with an outing to the Loire Valley region.

Marseille, a city of Provence, will also gain greater exposure to international markets next year when it hosts Rendez-vous En France 2019 travel market.

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