Top 10 French cities Chinese tourists love

France remains a major destination for Chinese travelers


Even though Chinese outbound tourism favorite destinations are other Asian regions like Hong-Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South-Korea, Thailand and Singapore, Chinese tourism in Europe remains strong and especially in France.

As of Q2 2015, France stands on the 6th most visited destinations according to TravelChinaGuide figures. Italy comes 7th, followed by Switzerland 8th and Germany 10th. Let us focus on the favorite Chinese tourists French destinations.

What are the favorite cities in France that Chinese like ?

According to the biggest travel forum in China, mafengwo and qyer, you will find the top 10 destination in France for Chinese travelers.

1-    Paris

Paris (Bali in Mandarin) obviously ranks 1st. The romantic French capital and its rich historical heritage, its numerous museums, monuments seems to attract most of the attention.

South-Eastern France city Nice arrives second. Last year the city recorded an increase in tourist number of about 60% mainly explained by the Chinese millionaire boss that offered vacations in France for over 6,000 of its employees.

3-    Lyon is growing in fame

Lyon comes 3rd, the central-eastern French city of Rhône-Alpes is getting more and more tourist attention over years. Lyon is known in China as the French capital of gastronomy and its football team. Football (soccer) is a growing interests for Chinese people on online platforms such as WeChat and Weibo. Lyon even has its own Weibo blog page. According to the Weibo page, Lyon’s places that receive the most review are as follows: Bellecour square,
Fourvière Cathedral, Saint-Jean Church, The Gallo-Roman amphitheater and the Tête D’or park According to the Chinese travelers, the old Lyon is very appreciated for its serenity and its numerous red roofs. The Lyon Bouchons[1] are really appreciated for their authentic and great taste. The universities and superior education schools are often talked about.

4 – Avignon & Provence


Avignon has gone up the ranks as it has attracted more Chinese tourists recently. The great romantic fields of lavender of the Provence region is one of the most known French places in China. A Chinese TV-show had a few episodes that took place in the Provence region, strongly increasing its fame. The episodes depicted the actors around French castles and huge flower fields.

5- Annecy shines,

Savoy city Annecy in the eastern-part of France is also increasing in popularity among Chinese tourists. The mountainous Savoy region and its numerous lakes sightseeing opportunities appeals to the Chinese tourists. In addition, local tourism authorities are making efforts to promote the region features abroad. Daniel Cavalli, Annecy tourist office director said “It is true that our general plans are to prepare the future and to assure good tourism figures.” “Annecy residents will have to get used to see more and more Chinese and Russians as we know the number of tourists will grow.”


6- Marseilles rises

Southern France city Marseilles recently appeared in the top. The France second largest city after Paris is also witnessing a growth in popularity. Much like Avignon, Marseilles streets have been used on the set of a Chinese TV-show called Family on the go which had over 145 million viewers. Marseilles has also a unique partnership with China, as Chinese retail giant Alibaba give small Marseilles businesses specialized in authentic local food and products some financial aid so that they can export their products in China.

7- Cannes

Yet another Southern France city is fairly well ranked among the top. Cannes comes 7th. The city is making efforts to appeal to the Chinese rising outbound tourism. Most of Chinese tourists come in the city for its various luxury and cosmetic fashion stores. Several professionals in Cannes already have Weibo and WeChat account where they promote the city’s attractions. The Cannes tourist office is already providing a hybrid tour guide that combines AI and human interaction in order to answer their questions and help them booking hotels, restaurants, etc.). Furthermore, the tourist office developed two applications that provide Wi-Fi to the Chinese tourists so they feel reassured.

8- Bordeaux’ popularity is decreasing,


Many Chinese people know about the French wine, and especially about the Bordeaux region.  The city used to be on the third rank. According to Laurent Goulvestre, Asia specialist the number of Chinese tourists in France should rise from 900,000 to 4 million over the next five years. Thierry Charpentier, Chamber of Commerce declared “Most of the Chinese tourists go to Paris, we have to convince them to visit Bordeaux as well”. Bordeaux has been reported to be the 12th most visited city in Europe by Chinese tourists, as much as Florence or Vienna.

9- Burgundy & Macon tourism are trendy

On the 9th position, Dijon from the Burgundy region. The region is growing popular among Chinese tourists, Insee figures showed that the number of Chinese tourists went from 5,000 in Q4 2010 to over 35,000 in the same period in 2014. Burgundy hotels reservations are booming, especially thanks to the Chinese. Usually Chinese tourists land in Paris and travel down south and pass through Beaune and Dijon.

10- Eastern France & Alsace

Finally, Strasbourg in the Alsace region (eastern France) is closing the top 10. Yan Yu, tourism consultant in Strasbourg assured that Chinese tourists come into Alsace for the culture and the historical heritage. “In Alsace, there is a long history and a rich culture. In Strasbourg, there is a mix between the European district and the Petite France. Chinese tourists are looking for the difference, and they indeed find this in Alsace, something that they do not have back home.” According to Chinese tour guide Lili Jia “Chinese people do not know Alsace history and the changes that Europe went through”. She brings them to the common local tourist points of interests and then go with them on the wine road.

[1] Authentic restaurant where you can eat local food and Lyon special recipes

  1. Thanks for the information you brought to us. They are very interesting and new. Look forward to reading more useful and new articles from you!

  2. Marseille is a relatively popular travel destination for Chinese people. Chinese travelers show interest in its natural views and outdoor activities, and they relate it to a lot of famous French literature, such as The Count of Monte Cristo. Marseille is also well-known for its football club, Olympique de Marseille.

  3. Chinese travelers show interest in its natural views and outdoor activities, and they relate it to a lot of famous French literature, such as The Count of Monte Cristo. Marseille is also well-known for its football club, Olympique de Marseille.

  4. I agree, I visited France last year my experienced was a blast! like us and about us I love walking in the streets and eating. No wonder why Chinese loved france.

  5. Back in 1986, Hiroaki Ota, a Japanese psychiatrist, identified Paris Syndrome: a state of psychological trauma experienced by first-time Japanese visitors to the City of Light when they discovered that the French capital was far grittier than the glamorous vision they were expecting nlp training course

  6. it is a super article and yes France is a sexy country for Chinese, with lot of good stuff to do.
    Romantic, cultural we have everything to seduce Chinese girls and their boyfriends.

  7. Oh what an interesting post, thanks! My friend from China is very interested, I will definitely send it to her. By the way, we met on chat rolett and have been talking for half a year. In general, travel is my favorite topic. Most of all I love beach holidays and especially Thailand. This is an indescribable atmosphere where so many contradictions coexist together that it takes your breath away. And what is the sea. I especially love Phi Phi Island. Incredibly tasty and varied cuisine and good-natured and hospitable residents.

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