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France has regained its crown as the world’s most visited tourist destination. From climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower to mingling with the rich and famous in St. Tropez, there are hundreds of reasons to visit France.
With so many people traveling to France right now, the French government is willing to ensure people have a positive experience when traveling in the country’s airports.
In 2022, tourism added 58 billion euros ($65 billion USD) to the French economy, representing 7.5% of its GDP. France is dependent on tourism, and the French government has realized that happy tourists are tourists who will keep coming back.
According to the French Minister of Tourism, Olivia Gregoire, « First impressions are often the ones that stay, which is why the quality of the welcome people receive at French airports is so important. »
To make a great first impression, here are 3 reasons why flying to France will be easier than ever:
Faster wait times and processing
Queues at many French airports can be notoriously long, particularly at airports in the Paris region.
To help alleviate these queues, the French government is significantly increasing the number of airport staff they employ.
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An additional 2,000 people will be employed to manage the lines, and an additional 520 border agents will also be employed. These additional agents will speed up passport control with the sole aim of getting travelers through the airport more quickly.
If you are flying into an airport in the Paris region, you can also use « smart gates » to check your passport. The French government has increased the number of these doors available this summer. They will add more before the summer of 2024.
At this time, these gates can only be used by EU passport holders, but the French government is also discussing allowing non-EU passport holders to use the automated passport gates. This would further speed up the passport control process.
Finally, the Paris-Orly and Lyon airports are currently testing 3D baggage scanners. These scanners will eliminate the need to remove liquids from carry-on luggage to get through airport security, expediting security processing time.
Easier transfers to Paris
Paris is a city with two airports. Charles De Gaulle is the bigger and better known of the two.
In fact, Charles De Gaulle Airport is the second busiest airport in Europe, and it is expected that when France hosts the Olympic Games next year, the accompanying increase in traffic will mean it will take the top spot in that ranking.
To ease the burden on Charles De Gaulle airport, French authorities are encouraging more passengers to travel through Paris’ second airport, Orly.
With more flights to and from Orly, the burden on Charles De Gaulle should be eased, and both airports will be better equipped to process their passengers as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Traveling via Orly will be a much more attractive proposition by spring 2024, when Paris-Orly airport will finally be connected directly to central Paris via public transport. Metro line 14 is currently undergoing expansion works, which will be inaugurated early next year.
Streamlined Complaint Procedures
No matter how hard the French government tries, things don’t always go as planned. But France doesn’t want dissatisfied travelers to leave the country, so they are setting up 10 separate monitoring groups at each of France’s 10 biggest airports.
The idea is that the more complaints are checked in the country, the more pressure there will be on France’s airlines and airports to improve their standards. This new process will also include greater control of lost bags.
Passengers from all over the world will also be able to download a mobile phone application called ‘SignalConso’, which allows travelers to submit complaints no matter where they are. This app has already been downloaded 100,000 times.
France is trying to shed its reputation for grumpy customer service, and now flying into the country should be easier than ever.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com