Inbound travel agencies in France and abroad

Inbound travel agencies in France and abroad

You have questions about MICE and Luxury travel french agencies?

Whether it is a congress in Paris, a convention in Monaco or an incentive trip in the Alps, the incoming agencies are there to meet all your expectations and make your events a real success. It is their job to accompany you on all your professional events.


  1.   An incoming or inbound agency: what is it?

According to the Association of Destination Management Executives, incoming agencies are “professional destination management organisations specialised in the creation and implementation of events, activities and itineraries based on incentive travel and a deep knowledge of the destination”.

The incoming agency thus has a perfect knowledge of the destination, expertise and resources that enable it to organise the stay on site from A to Z. 

  1.   Why choose an incoming agency?
  • Perfect knowledge of the territory and its service providers
  • Comprehensive and quality services
  • Preferred contact person, expert and ambassador of the destination (privileged access to “stocks” of accommodation, etc.)
  • Increasingly innovative services
  • Original, even exclusive and tailor-made offers
  1.   An incoming agency: for whom?
  • The main clients of incoming agencies are Tour Operators, travel agencies and event agencies, but in recent years they have also included leisure and business tourism clients, who, for the latter, represent a majority share of the activity of incoming agencies, particularly those located in large cities that support Congresses and Conferences.
  •  The services offered to business customers are as follows: handling the logistical and/or tourist part of an event (room reservations, transfers and transport, evenings, visits…), organisation of seminars, team building and incentive organisation.
  • For the leisure clientele, the services offered are part of the accommodation booking offer, the organisation of excursions, visits, outings…
  1.   Incoming agencies in France
  • According to Atout France, there are now 170 travel agencies in France that specialize in incoming services and have both a leisure and a business clientele. The business volume achieved in 2011 is estimated at €650 million.
  • Among the tourism operators with a receptive activity, there are about 510 local tourism organisations (Tourist Office, departmental tourism committees, regional tourism committees), 290 activity providers (cultural, artistic, sports, etc.), 770 accommodation managers and 500 carriers (mainly coach operators).

Many travel agencies also have a complementary receptive activity: 3,696 travel agencies, of which more than a third reported having a receptive activity.


Profitability of travel agencies specialising in receptive compared to that of tour operators and other types of agencies:

 Net income as a percentage of sales in %.

  • Receptive specialist 1.9 %
  • Tour Operator – 3.4%.
  • Distributing agency – 8.2%.
  • Online agency 5.6%.

 (Source: Company accounts)

The majority of incoming agencies are located in Paris and on the Côte d’Azur, where 44% and 13% of agencies respectively are located and 62% and 12% of the agencies’ business volume is generated. They have a turnover of nearly 3.5 to more than 63 M€.

Breakdown of incoming agency business volume by region

stats dmc france

(Source Register of travel and stay operators, maintained by Atout France and


Some Dmc Destination management companies also play the role of redistributing flows to the most distant tourist sites. This is the case, for example, from Paris to Normandy, Champagne, the Loire Valley and Burgundy. But also from Lyon to Chamonix and the Alps.  

In addition to the European markets, these agencies generally operate in Asia, North America, South America and the Middle East.


TOP 5 of Receivers in France in 2019


Evolution Travel Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan High-end individual trips and  business groups in the event industry

Paris Cityvision Usa, Uk, Spain, Japan, Exclusive stays in France

Brazil, Italy, Canada, China  

Syltours incoming Usa, Central Europe, China Professional events

Service travel plus Brazil, India, Middle East, Major events, tourism, business or

Russia, Scandinavia, Canada congresses throughout France

Argentina, Mexico

Miki Travel Agency Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia Stays in France, booking tickets & shows

Indonesia, , Russia, Singapore

 5. International incoming agencies

The international operation remains the same. DMCs (Destination Management Companies) have a thorough knowledge of their destination. Their services range from the logistical and/or tourist part of an event (room reservations, transfers and transport, evenings, visits…), organisation of seminars, team building and incentive organisation.

The services offered are generally based on the following criteria:

  • Individual and/or group tours
  • Complete stays
  • Spontaneous weekends
  • MICE
  • Flights
  • Ecotourism
  • Incentive
  • Demonstrations
  • Evening events
  • Design & program
  • Safaris
  • Excursions
  • Adventure
  • Hotels
  • Hotel clubs



Some examples of international receptive:


WAM Cambodia Tour Cambodia

Mauri Dmc Hungary

Mc Travel Morocco

Wedgewood South Africa

Tanganika Expeditions Tanzania

Select Seychelles Seychelles 

Go West Tour United States

Haxel Events & Incentive Poland


Each year, receptives generate significant revenues for local service providers, which allows them to benefit from significant discounts that are much higher than the margin that receptives charge their customers. This is why receptives ensure a better quality/price ratio.


  1.   Evolution of the incoming agency market

In a market that is currently in crisis, and with the rise of the web, low-cost airlines, the reduction of the Mice budget and the increase in competition from hotel packages, consumption habits have changed considerably.

Today, therefore, there is a double challenge for receptive customers to attract customers: Volume + added value

Volume :

  • Purchasing power from service providers
  • A mastery of computer tools
  • A high reactivity and industrialization of processes
  • A good knowledge of the issuing markets
  • A multi-market commercial intervention capacity

 Added value:

  • A detailed knowledge of the territory and the service providers
  • A thematic expertise
  • An ability to innovate, to create tailor-made solutions
  • An ability to maintain affinity partnerships with tour operators

When you do a new destination, one of the first  question is: How to select the best inbound agency?
Especially when you have so many choices only on France! 

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