Working in Market - France
See how to work in France, one of Tourism Australia's key markets, and learn key insights into the various travel distribution channels.
Consumers under 30 years of age are increasingly using online channels for bookings, including long haul travellers who are visiting for extended periods of time. The online environment plays a key role in France for destination selection and planning. Internet users are seeking the best prices and innovative services. Traditional operators remain important particularly for consumers over 40 years old and for special interest travel such as Honeymoons.
Commission Level: 15% - 25%
- There are two major distribution channels for Australian products in the French market:
- Wholesalers who sell their products through travel agencies (mainly chains, franchise systems and co-ops, and a few independents).
- Direct sellers who use their own retail offices and partner agencies and online as their distribution channel.
- Given a large portion of French travellers to Australia are aged under 30 years old (youth target), they predominantly book online purchasing just a flight and some ground content. French travellers over 35 years old and also honeymooners would rather book more complex travel via traditional channels.
- There are approximately 60 tour operators selling Australia in France, with 15 producing dedicated Australia or combined Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific programs. The major traditional wholesalers selling Australia include Asia Voyages, Australie Tours by Premium Travel, Visiteurs and Voyamar.
- The number of direct sellers has increased in the French market with eleven of the key players focusing on direct sales to the consumer. Key direct sellers include: Australie à la carte, TUI, Voyageurs du Monde, Maison de l’Océanie, Monde Authentique, Cercle des Voyages, Rêves d’Australie, Route des Voyages, Faré Voyage and Meltour. There are also pure players such as Marco Vasco, Evaneos, Worldia and Sydney Facile.
Commission Level: 10% - 14%
- There are 4,800 travel agencies and 28,000 travel agents in France. The main retail agency networks in France include:
- Selectour created from the merger of Selectour and Afat Voyages with 1,200 travel agencies
- Tourcom with 1,180 travel agencies
- Havas (created from the alliance of Havas Voyages and Carlson Wagonlit Travel) with 225 travel agencies.
- Manor with 320 travel agencies
- TUI France with 200 travel agencies
- E.Leclerc Voyages with 200 travel agencies
- Carrefour Voyages with 137 travel agencies
- Retail agencies are quite powerful in France, controlling the distribution of tour operator brochures.
- The Aussie Specialist Program (ASP) is the primary platform for Tourism Australia to train and develop front line travel sellers to best sell Australia.
- As at November 2021, there were 504 qualified ASP agents in France.
Commission Level: 12% - 18%
The major French online operators by Unique Visitors (UVs) are:
- Booking.com (15,907,000 UV per month)
- Oui.sncf (11,753,000 UV per month)
- Airbnb (9,965,000 UV per month)
- BlaBlaCar (4,802,000 UV per month)
- Air France (4,031,000 UV per month)
Inbound Tour Operators
Commission Level: 20% - 30%
- Inbound tour operators form a key part of the distribution chain in France, linked with French wholesalers who run Australian programs. Key ITOs in the French Market include AOT/ATS, JCM, Across Australia, Goway and Pan Pacific.
- Young consumers, especially working holidaymakers, are increasingly booking direct with airlines and product.
- The French Online Travel Agency (OTA) market remains somewhat fragmented, with global, regional and local players each maintaining a significant share. A newcomer to the market is Evaneos. Evaneos is a digital platform that connects travellers directly to a selected community of local travel agents (ITOs) around the globe to tailor unique individual trips.
- Inbound tour operators increasingly have teams located in France (which allows more reactivity and flexibility) and they tend to go direct to travel agents, associating with platforms in direct contact with travellers.
Planning and purchasing travel
- Of the passengers who book parts of their Australian holiday online, the three most popular items booked were international airfares (80 per cent), visas (54 per cent), and accommodation (46 per cent).
- Traditional retail agencies remain an important channel for long haul, complex destinations such as Australia. Retail agents also remain a vital source of information, alongside travel books and guides.
- Working holidays and honeymoon travel are specialist segments in France, which are high-yielding for Australia. Key Tour Operators include Australie Autrement, Cercle des Vacances and STA Travel.
- French honeymooners’ budgets generally vary from 2,500 to 10,000 Euros. This type of long haul travel is booked primarily through traditional booking channels. Key operators selling honeymoons to Australia include Voyageurs du Monde, Australie à la Carte, Maison du voyage and Australie Tours.
Planning a visit to market
Top tips for sales calls
- Make sure you know the product and positioning of a tour operator before meeting with them. Product managers expect your products to be in line with what their clients require.
- The French travel trade are amenable to receiving USB sticks containing brochures, collateral and pictures. They will highly value information in French language.
- An average sales call with a product manager should last between 45 to 60 minutes.
- The best time for sales calls is January to April and October to early December.
- The key market centres to visit are Paris and Lyon. Although the French travel industry is highly concentrated in Paris, some key tour operators are located in other French cities (e.g. Nantes). Those operators shouldn’t be ignored, and your sales call will be appreciated.
- For more general information on sales calls and planning a visit to market, please see Tourism Australia’s Tourism Export Toolkit.
Key Distribution Partners
Tourism Australia is a partnership marketing organisation and works closely with airlines and travel companies on cooperative marketing to drive conversion in all priority markets.
These targeted travel companies, including wholesalers, retail and online travel agencies, form Tourism Australia’s Key Distribution Partner (KDP) program with the intention to increase total booking value of visitors to Australia.
Each KDP is selected based on the fit with Tourism Australia’s market strategy, a shared target customer profile, shared funding of marketing activity, a commitment to training their frontline sales team through the Aussie Specialist Program and a commitment to selling quality Australian product and experiences.
Below are a selection of Key Distribution Partners that Tourism Australia is partnering with from France.
Where to find more information
Tourism Australia’s activities in France are managed from its Frankfurt office and a representative office in Paris.
- An overview on the travel distribution system
- A quick reference on key booking and travel periods for markets
- France Country Brief published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at: www.dfat.gov.au/geo/france
- For additional statistical reports refer to the ABS and TRA websites, www.abs.gov.au and www.tra.gov.au