The balance of payments is a statement that accounts for all the financial transactions of a country with the rest of the world. It is important for a country to have a positive balance of payments, as it indicates that the country is earning more from international transactions than it is spending. Tourism can play a role in helping to improve a country’s balance of payments by bringing in foreign currency through tourists spending money on things like hotel stays, meals, and souvenirs. Tourism can help reduce a balance of payments deficit or even contribute to making it positive for countries with significant tourism activity, even if they are highly dependent on imports for other sectors.
This is true for France, as pointed out in an article in Le Monde dated February 8, 2022. In 2021, the trade deficit in France was 84.7 billion euros, and tourism may have helped to mitigate this deficit to some extent.