Spring 2024 Travel Trends Report: All Eyes on France

Vacation bookings to France have already surged in 2024 as US travelers hop across the Atlantic for scenery, shopping, sports, champagne, and so much more.


The western European country of France is in the midst of what you may call a tourism ‘moment’.

A 2023 report stated that France is projected to become the most-visited country on Earth by 2025, and our discerning guests revealed that it was their number one ‘wish-list destination’ for 2024 in a recent poll too.

What’s more, we’ve already seen a 50% rise in bookings to France so far this year (compared to 2023) and a 67% rise versus 2022.

Overall, 7% of all Scott Dunn’s US guest bookings are for here (up from 4% in 2023 and 3% in 2022).

So, why is it so popular this year, and how can you make the most of a vacation to this picturesque country?

Well, to find out, we’ve gathered some statistics on not only how many Americans are heading to France this year but also where they’re going and what they plan to do when they arrive.

We’ve also relaunched our exclusive collection of hotels and experiences across the country and are sharing tips on the best tours and accommodations to help you enjoy all that this unique, romantic, and exciting destination has to offer.

Nick Cunningham, Scott Dunn’s Destination Manager for Europe, said: “While travelers are still flocking to the ever-popular city of Paris, many are gravitating towards the countryside, the French Riviera, and lesser-known wine regions. Scott Dunn is encouraging its guests to explore France beyond its most populated city to experience the rich culture, renowned fashion, and exquisite cuisine that the smaller regions of the country have to offer.”

Read on, to find out more.

All Eyes on France

We know that many of our clients are planning to head to France this year, but what about the wider population? Is it proving as popular with everyone else?

To find out, we surveyed 2,000 US adults and discovered that the answer is… YES!

Overall, a third (34%) of Americans are planning to take a vacation in France this year. Nearly a quarter (12%) of these are traveling here for the first time, showing that it really is attracting new visitors.

March is currently the top month for trips to France according to our bookings data, although this may change as the year goes on.

Most of our France bookings with US guests are for customized multi-destination trips (73%), and the average vacation duration is 10 nights.

Boutique hotels are also the most popular accommodation type right now.

France’s Top Destinations in 2024

Discovering a new destination is the top thing that Scott Dunn guests are looking forward to from their vacations in 2024, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the places people are visiting in France are somewhat varied.

The Eiffel Tower on a spring morning

The top five destinations in France in 2024 are:

  1. Paris (77%)
  2. Normandy (13%)
  3. The Alps (12%)
  4. Nice (12%)
  5. The French Riviera (11%)

Marseille (11%), Provence (11%), Bordeaux (10%), and Champagne (10%) were also popular locations.

While Provence didn’t make the top five, US Google searches for information on vacations here are up 25% in the last three months (since October 2023), suggesting that bookings could soon surge. Online search inquiries in the US for information on vacations to Bordeaux are also up 17% in the last three months, while the French Riviera is up 14%.

Ski destinations like Courchevel, where we operate our Explorers kids clubs, were also popular with Scott Dunn bookers. Many US guests are turning their European ski trips into customized itineraries too, visiting one or two iconic European cities along the way such as Paris, Geneva, or Barcelona.

Other popular destination combinations in 2024 are London and Paris (traveling via Eurostar), the south of France and northern Italy (Lake Como, Milan & Venice), as well as multi-region itineraries around France including Paris, Normandy, the Loire Valley, Nice, Provence, and Bordeaux.

The Top Activities

Of course, we all go away with a different idea of what the perfect vacation looks like, so our dream itineraries will vary. 

Outdoor market and restaurants in Nice france

What Americans heading to France in 2024 are hoping for most from their trip:

  1. Great food (56%)
  2. Beautiful views / scenery (54%)
  3. Relaxation (49%)
  4. Culture (48%)
  5. History (39%)
  6. Art (39%)
  7. Excitement (38%)
  8. Great wine (36%)
  9. Romance (30%)
  10. To watch or play sport (10%)

France is well equipped to meet the expectations of most people because it offers not only culture and history but also great shopping, amazing food and wine, and, of course, breathtaking scenery.

Our research showed that the top activities that people plan to do while visiting France were therefore very varied.

The top activities that Americans plan to do while in France in 2024 are:

  1. Shopping (53%)
  2. Visiting museums and galleries (50%)
  3. Visiting cities (49%)
  4. Visiting excellent restaurants (47%)
  5. Wine / champagne tasting (36%)
  6. Exploring cultural sites (34%)
  7. Relaxing on the beach (31%)
  8. Relaxing in a spa (30%)
  9. Visiting vineyards (27%)
  10. Boat trips (23%)
  11. Visiting hilltop vineyards (21%)
  12. Attending big events such as festivals (19%)
  13. Attending the Olympic Games (10%)
  14. Snow sports (8%)
  15. Attending another sporting event (7%)

While France’s popularity may have something to do with its unique crowd-pleasing offering, 2024 is also an especially big year for the country as it plays host to many exciting events.

This is part of the reason for the rise in bookings. While some US travelers may be planning to soak up some culture and sample fine wines, over a third (36%) are visiting France with the specific intention of attending a particular event.

Of those heading to France this year for a specific event, the most popular ones are:

  • Tour de France (27%)
  • The Olympics / Paralympics (24%)
  • Paris Marathon (19%)
  • 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy (16%)
  • The F1 in Monaco (14%)
  • The 150th Anniversary of Impressionism (13%)

Of those who are visiting for an event, nearly a quarter (24%) are specifically traveling to France to attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are largely being hosted in and around Paris.

The Olympics was also named a top ‘wish-list cultural experience’ in 2024 among Scott Dunn guests – yet another reason this may be the top destination.

The Tour de France cycling race was the most popular event, though.

Nearly one in five (19%) are visiting France for a different type of major event, such as a festival, carnival, or anniversary.

Upcoming Events in France This Year

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, we’ve researched some of the top events happening in France this year, including dates. You can either plan your trip around one or tag it onto an existing itinerary to really make the most of your vacation.

  • Nice Carnival – Mardi Gras: February 17th to March 3rd
  • Flower Festival (Le Corso Fleuri de Bormes les Mimosas): February 18th
  • Normandy Impressionist Festival: March 22nd to September 22nd
  • Cannes Film Festival: May 14th to 25th
  • Les Floralies de Nantes: May 17th to 26th
  • The French Open, Paris: May 20th to June 9th 2024
  • Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix: May 26th
  • Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the Normandy landings: June 6th
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans: June 12th to 16th
  • Vieilles Charrues Music Festival: July 11th to 14th
  • Tour de France: July 29th Jun to 21st
  • Paris Olympic Games: August 26th July to 11th
  • Paris Paralympic Games: August 28th to September 8th
  • Dijon Gastronomic (Food) Festival: October 31st to November 11th
  • Vendée Global – Les Sables d’Olonne: November 10th

Map Graphic showcasing events in France
Map showing where the major events are taking place in France 2024

Wine Not Tuck Into a Taste of France

Demand for wine-tasting trips is also up this year, with over a third (36%) of US travelers saying they hope to experience ‘great wine’ on their trip. The same number (also 36%) plan to visit a French vineyard on their vacation here in 2024.

France has a long-standing reputation as a world-leading wine producer, so there are a wealth of opportunities to drop into a vineyard wherever you are in the country.

Wine tasting in Burgundy was named a top ‘wish-list food and drink experience’ for 2024 among our guests, while a trip to sample the sparkling delights of the Champagne region and the many unique and historic ‘houses’ located here is also incredibly easy from Paris – taking less than two hours by train.

Map showing the wine making areas in France
A map showing the main wine regions in France

France’s Top Winemaking Areas

  • Alsace – The Most Aromatic Region of France Wine Country
  • Champagne – The Most Exclusive Bubbles from France
  • Loire – With More Than 2,000 Years of Winemaking History
  • Languedoc-Roussillon – Where a Quarter of France’s Wine is Made
  • Provence – With Vines Cultivated by the Ancient Greeks
  • Rhône – With Steeply Terraced Vineyards and Exceptional Reds
  • Bordeaux – The Most Exclusive Wine Region of France
  • Jura and Savoy – Undiscovered Gems in an Alpine Landscape
  • Corsica – Distinctive Island Wines

In addition, Normandy is famous for its cider and Calvados, while Cognac is also the home of the iconic premium grape wine known as brandy.

Scott Dunn Recommends – The Best of France

Our France specialists have uncovered the newest, most under-the-radar experiences throughout every corner of the country to develop highly personalized itineraries. Among the highlights are a private viewing of Émile Hermès’ coveted collection of novelty treasures and visits to the Dior Mansion and Gardens.

From the sun-kissed beaches of Nice and Cannes to the historical grandeur of Versailles and the vibrant culture of Lyon, each destination has been carefully selected to offer a unique blend of experiences. To complement them, we have our curated portfolio of 27 new hotels and resorts, each vetted for quality, service, and unique offerings. Noteworthy additions include the prestigious Carlton Cannes, Maybourne Riviera, COMO Le Montrachet in Burgundy, and the Hotel de Crillon in Paris.

These hotels not only offer luxurious accommodation but also provide unique experiences that are quintessentially French. Enhancements like VIP airport and train station services, driver-guides, and luxurious helicopter transfers are the cherries on top, designed to make every journey seamless and extraordinary. 

Here are some of our top France trip recommendations for 2024:

Unlock New Flavors with Culinary Experiences

A woman enjoying French cuisine and a glass of white wine

When it comes to culinary experiences, here at Scott Dunn we like to go above and beyond to offer a gastronomic journey that’s unparalleled.

Imagine stepping into the renowned Escoffier School at The Ritz Hotel in Paris, where you're greeted by master chefs ready to guide you through a hands-on cooking class.

The experience doesn't end in the kitchen, though; you'll also have the opportunity to savor your creations in a private dining setting, complete with wine pairings selected by an in-house sommelier.

Alternatively, you could find yourself in the workshop of Henri Matisse in Nice, where a private cooking class is conducted with a backdrop of the famous artist’s iconic works. This is not just a cooking class, it's an intimate look into the life and inspirations of one of France's most celebrated artists.

For wine aficionados, a private wine-tasting tour in the vineyards of Burgundy awaits. Guided by a local sommelier, you'll explore the nuances of French wines, from the vine to the bottle. These culinary experiences are not just about food and drink, they’re immersive cultural journeys that Scott Dunn meticulously curates to suit your tastes and preferences.

Enchanted Adventures Await Families

A family looking at the view in Montmartre Paris

The family-friendly France experiences we offer are designed to be more than just activities – they are catalysts for creating unforgettable memories.

Imagine an exclusive Disney Dream Day in Paris, where you not only skip the lines but also get behind-the-scenes access to some of the most iconic rides and shows. Your family will be treated like royalty and have a personal guide to navigate the park and make the most of your day.

For a true fairytale experience the whole family can enjoy, the Versailles Nighttime Spectacular provides a dreamy escape straight out of a storybook. Start with the Royal Serenade at the Hall of Mirrors and take a magical stroll in Château de Versailles's enchanting gardens, which come alive with vibrant lights, whimsical illuminations, and lively fountains every Saturday evening in the summer.

As night envelops the estate, the gardens transform, unveiling awe-inspiring installations like laser shows, baroque choreographies, and a grand fireworks display to cap off the evening’s festivities amid the serene beauty of the Grand Canal. With each step, be prepared for a cascade of surprises that transport you into a surreal, mystical realm.  

Dive Deeper into France’s Cultural Stories 

A picnic on top of a grassy area

For history enthusiasts, the D-Day Experience by vintage military vehicle in Normandy is a transformative journey. You'll be transported back to the key moments of World War II, guided by a historian who brings the past to life through storytelling and interactive exhibits.

If nature is more your calling, consider a guided hike through the breathtaking landscapes of the French Riviera. But this is no ordinary hike – it culminates in a gourmet picnic at a scenic overlook where you can enjoy panoramic views while savoring local delicacies.

Continue the journey down south to a traditional livestock farm in the Camargue region, where a Provençal cowboy will introduce you to the local culture of cattle breeding, bullfights, and white horse riding.

He will guide you through his farm, showcasing his animals and explaining the traditions and operations integral to this unique way of life. Witness the cowboy in action as he rounds up bulls for marking, and savor a meal organized in a secluded part of the farm for a more intimate experience.  

Gain Exclusive Access to Some of France’s Hidden Gems

A man showcasing a luxury watch

Our Scott Dunn Private offerings are the epitome of exclusivity and luxury, designed to deliver unparalleled access to some of the world's most coveted venues. Imagine walking through the doors of the Louvre after hours, when the halls are empty and the artworks speak directly to you.

A knowledgeable guide will accompany you, offering insights into the masterpieces that you wouldn't get during regular visiting hours. The experience is surreal, almost as if you've stepped into a private world where art and history come alive just for you.

Another offering includes a visit to the private studio of luxury brand Hermès in Paris. This is not a mere tour – it's an intimate experience where you'll witness the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into creating each product. From the intricate stitching on their iconic Birkin bags to the final polish on their luxurious leather goods, you'll gain a newfound appreciation for the art of craftsmanship.

These once-in-a-lifetime experiences offer a level of access and personalization that’s unmatched. We take immense pride in being able to provide them, ensuring that every trip you take with us becomes a chapter in a story worth telling and retelling. 

Our Conclusion

There’s no doubt that France has an activity or event to suit every taste. So, whether you plan to travel solo, as a couple, or as part of a family group, you won’t struggle to meet everyone’s expectations.

For Brits, it does of course have the added benefit of being right on our doorstep, meaning that travel across the Channel is simple and quick.

Once you land on French soil, it may be tempting to stick to well-beaten paths. However, heading to some of the less popular destinations such as Lyon, Normandy and the Loire Valley can ensure you discover some hidden gems along the way.

p>As always, we’re here to help plan your perfect customized trip, so please contact us for more information and recommendations from our France travel experts.


Our Report Sources and Methodology 

Primary Data:

  • Survey of 2,000 US adults conducted in January 2024
  • Scott Dunn Guest Survey – 44 US respondents, in December 2023
  • Scott Dunn US booking data, collected on 17th January. This covers bookings made between 1st November to 16th January 2024.

Secondary Data:

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