France is still the most popular tourist destination in the world

France is still the most popular tourist destination in the world

France has managed to stay the most popular holiday destination in the world, despite challenges like recent terrorist attacks.

More than 82.5 million tourists visited France in 2016, meaning it kept its most popular title, despite visitor figures being down from 85 million in 2015.

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A number of high profile attacks in Paris, Nice and Rouen contributed to the decrease. And, just last week an Egyptian man carrying a machete was shot after he attacked soldiers outside the Louvre, the world's most-visited museum.

According to Travel and Leisure, the French government last year announced that it planned to spend 10 million euro on a tourism advertising campaign to battle negative effects from attacks, and aimed to attract 100 million tourists by 2020.

According to The Local, foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned that "a great deal of work remains to be done to ensure France remains a global destination."

He added: "France has suffered as a destination. 2016 was an exceptional year, with attacks, storms and strikes.

"There was a definite impact, especially on Japanese tourists."

On Thursday, officials in Paris announced plans to build bullet-proof glass walls to protect the Eiffel Tower from potential attacks.

Despite this, the beauty of the country is still attracting visitors more than any other destination globally. And it's no surprise; One of the most stunning, culturally rich and well-known countries of the world, France offers something for everyone any time of year. Whether you fancy a city break in Paris or Marseille, a ski holiday in the French Alps, a relaxing rural escape in Bordeaux or Brittany, or soaking up the sun in the glamour of the Riviera, the country is diverse enough to give you any type of holiday you wish.

The United States was the second most popular destination in the world.

Special places to stay in rural France
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Special places to stay in rural France

A modern whitewashed hotel on the outskirts of Rivedoux Plage, Maison des Algues is "impeccably maintained", says Sawdays. There's a small cricket pitch, terraces, gardens and an outdoor pool with free bike hire for exploring the local area and its white sand beaches. From 125 Euros per room, including breakfast. For details, visit or call +33 (0)5 46 68 01 23. 

A mere hop over the channel, the beautiful countryside of Pas de Calais is perfect for a weekend away. Check out the wild, "funky and fabulous" Maison de Plumes: think soft gold walls and glossy black woodwork, with bedrooms designed in the pattern birds' plumage (hence the name). From €99 per room per night, including breakfast. For more details, visit or call +33 (0)3 21 41 47 85.

Hidden just behind a small sleepy village square, this fifth century converted silk farm is full of surprises. A tranquil Mediterranean garden and vast bedrooms, a shaded courtyard and pool are just some of the treats to enjoy. From €220 per room per night, including breakfast  For more details, visit or call +33 (0)4 66 81 38 41.

This quirky 16th century merchant's house with its own salon de the, exposed stone walls and customised furniture sits on the lovely Finistiere coast. Nearby, Le Conquet bustles with fisherman and boats and a local market. Kids wil love the bunk bedded room designed like a ship's cabin. From €60 per room per night, room only. For more information, visit or call +33 (0)2 98 89 17 79.

Peace and serenity reign supreme at this remote 17th century farmhouse-cum-eco lodge on the edge of the Lac du Pecher. It's a place for nature lovers, beautifully decorated with "gigantic views". From €140 per room per night, half-board. Visit for more, or call +33 47120 8309.

This 300-year-old vine workers' house has been revived with no expenses spared: think original 17th century fireplaces, snow-white linen and handsome oil paintings. And the beautiful village of Beune, with its medieval streets, is just a stone's throw away. From €220 per room per night, including breakfast. Visit  or call +33 (0)3 80 22 82 84.

A fairy-tale like castle with much to enchant, you'll love the sprawling grounds, stained glass decor and deep sofas. Oh, and it's is also singled out for its 'incredible' food. From €88 per room per night, includes breakfast –  +33 (0)4 77 66 64 60.

Peeping through lavender shutters at sweeping landscaped gardens, this rejuvenated Provencal house offers all sorts of delights, including its own natural rock pool for taking a cool dip, a masseur in the garden, an olive grove and a chicken run. From €180 per room per night, includes breakfast – for more information, visit +33 (0)6 30 00 62 04.

In a large park with vast pastures and woods, this 16th century chateau boasts four-poster beds, a large pool and even a treehouse room complete with chandeliers. From €110 per room per night, room only. For more details, visit  +33 (0)5 65 67 90 62.

This classic baroque 19th-century townhouse is hidden away off a bustling street: with its quiet lawned quadrangle, opulent boudoirs and ornate fireplaces and Philip Stark bathrooms, it promises to provide a welcome retreat from the buzzing Bordeaux atmosphere when you need to relax. From 160 Euros per room per night, room only. Visit or call + 33 (0)5 57 88 28 80.

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