How Netflix shows like 'Emily in Paris' and 'Lupin' are driving Paris tourism

Omar Sy in 'Lupin'. Picture: Netflix

Omar Sy in 'Lupin'. Picture: Netflix

Published Jan 18, 2024


Four of five foreign tourists to Paris got an urge to visit after seeing a movie or TV series filmed in the City of Light, France's national cinema body said on Thursday.

That's up from three-quarters in a previous study in 2018.

For one out of 10, it was their main reason for coming, and in half of those cases it was the Netflix series ‘Emily in Paris’ (38 percent) and ‘Lupin’ (11 percent) that spurred the trip.

The study was conducted by market research company Ifop for France's National Centre of Cinematography among six nationalities: Belgians, Spaniards, Americans, Britons, Germans and Chinese.

Cinema tourism is not new and certainly isn't limited to Paris, but has grown along with the explosion of streaming services, said Cecile Lacoue, head of studies at CNC.

"It's a very interesting way to develop tourism and boost the notoriety of towns," she said.

In Paris, one foreign tourist out of two has watched ‘Lupin’, the French-language surprise success with Omar Sy playing the gentleman thief.

Next, at 44 percent, was ‘Emily in Paris’, the tale of a young American lost in the world of Paris luxury.

Those two series produced by Netflix were far more popular abroad than purely French series such as ‘Versailles’, ‘Marie-Antoinette’, and ‘Dix pour Cent’ (’Call my Agent’).

Still, 86 percent had at least watched some French movie or series, up from 81 percent in 2018, according to Lacoue.

About 41 percent of tourists had seen the comedy ‘The Intouchables’ and 37 percent Jeunet's whimsical romance ‘Amelie’, starring Audrey Tautou.

But more visitors had seen US blockbusters filmed in Paris such as ‘Da Vinci Code’, ‘Mission: Impossible Fallout’ or ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.

Cinema tourism also inspires domestic travellers, with 22 percent saying they have taken a trip within France after something they watched.

The films that inspired them include ‘Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis’ (’Welcome to the Sticks’), a movie about a town in the north, or ‘Plus belle la vie’, a television series about an imaginary Marseille neighbourhood.

The phenomenon risks leading to over-tourism, warns Lacoue.

The already popular Normandy seaside town of Etretat is receiving even more visitors after appearing in an episode of ‘Lupin’.

In summer, about 10,000 tourists come each day, far outnumbering the 1,200 inhabitants.