W.hen Germans think of France, what they see in their minds is often shaped by the films that come to us from the neighboring country: Anyone who has seen “La Piscine” with Alain Delon and Romy Schneider wants to Immediately lying under pine trees by a pool with a sea view in front of a beautiful old villa on the Côte d’Azur, and those who know “Betty Blue” or Eric Rohmer’s wonderful summer ode “Pauline à la Plage” will not want to go anywhere else than to the wide French Atlantic beaches. But the reality looked different in the end.
Before the pandemic, twelve million German tourists came to France, in 2020 only five million. Tourism from America, Asia and Russia came to a virtual standstill. The Paris metropolitan region in particular suffered last summer, the palace hotels were empty, and the large department stores were empty. The tourism sector, which contributes 7.5 percent to the gross domestic product, has suffered badly. That should change again in the next few months. The French State Secretary for Tourism, French Abroad and Francophonie, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, traveled through European metropolises last week to promote the advantages of France. Berlin was right at the top of his agenda: “We want two million more Germans in our country this year see, ”said Lemoyne. The Germans will thus make up the largest and most important share of the tourists, after the previous number one in France, the British market, looks bleak.