An Examination of Paris' Tourist Appeal


As a traveler to Paris yourself, you may have gotten the feeling that half the people you run into are also visitors to the area. If you've ever had such an impression, you wouldn't be too far from the truth. The French capital always makes the cut for the 20 most visited places on Earth. Unsurprisingly, the population of Paris is made up of mostly tourists from overseas at any given time. This number has been revealed through research performed by On The Go Tours.

Paris has just about 2.2 million locals who live there year round. The rest of the population is made up of nearly 18 million travelers, according to numbers gathered just this last year in 2016. If you do the math, that means that for every Parisian there is eight tourists staying in Paris. Looking at it as a percentage of increase each year, that's 704%. Even London, for as popular a destination as it is, sees only a 129% increase of visitors each year. London's local population is approximately 8.7 million, which makes their yearly population of tourists around 19.9 million. A second place winner to Paris would be Kuala Lumpur, which usually has a localized population of those who live there long term at 1.7 million with an increase of 595% at 12 million visitors coming and going annually.

Florence and Venice are a few other cities that have soared in popularity over the past handful of years, with their tourist-to-local ratio rising steadily each year. Still, when it comes to considering all of the current numbers we have at our disposal, France comes out on top as the world's most popular country for visitors from nearby and overseas. Taking figures found in 2015 into consideration, France saw about 84.5 million total overseas visitors. The country that comes second to France in amount of overseas tourism is the U.S. which hosted 77.5 million visitors in the same year. Spain came in third at 68.2 million and the U.K. came in eighth at 34.4 million.

Examining what happens when you take the numbers and divide them by the number of long term residential populations, you can come up with some interesting numbers. Tiny principality areas like Andorra can show some impressive tourist-to-local ratios using this method, but there are certain things to take into account behind the details. Unlike Paris, Andorra has a minimal local population that is dwarfed by the amount of Parisians in Paris at any given time.

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