It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 % since the start of the year, with tourism authorities reporting no less than six percent fewer Americans coming over to France this season in comparison with 2015. The same situation applies throughout the country, according to local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc in the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the situation on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch exactly what is happening in France on television Americans only notice that the country is broken. There are strikes inside the airports, the streets are loaded with trash, also on account of strikes not to mention the terrorist attacks,” he said. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel close to the city of Lyon, is just not alone in his worry about the strike security companies generally speaking and Americans specifically this year season. Normally around 3.2 million Americans visit France annually.
Airlines companies say 19.2 percent fewer flights were booked to France by American visitors during the last week of July.
At the end of the 1st quarter, there have been 35 percent fewer American visitors than during the same period this past year, according to Didier Chenet, president in the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have previously had 10 % less bookings from the Paris region with this summer in comparison with last year,” he added.
The Paris region particularly has been severely influenced by the drop in amounts of American tourists. For the usually popular summer sales, relative few U.S. tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans compared to the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of a women fashion store within the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they enjoy our clothes and they are generally numerous all year around however in particular during the sales. Not this year.”
The south east of France has also suffered a whole lot considering that the July 14 terror attack in Nice, which cost 84 lives on Bastille Day. The State Secretary of Tourism has not published official numbers, but the main agency that promotes tourism in the united states, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the quantity of American visitors in July when compared to the same month a year ago.
“Europeans continue to be numerous, but tourists from the United states and Canada as well as Japan and Brazil tend to be under last year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He was quoted saying those visitors often spend more money money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, and the killing of a priest near to the town of Rouen by two men linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) added to existing concerns about safety.
Back May their state Department cautioned Americans about going to France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory applies until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, mentioned that wealthy tourists from three regions especially – the United states, Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and appear to be staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are adding to the normal drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The land was only emerging through the effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the following most in-demand place to go for American visitors is Britain. Some 3.01 million visited that country just last year, tourism data show.
Next came Spain and Ireland, with 1.22 and 1.17 million respectively.
Britain, Spain and Ireland will benefit from France’s losses this season, although no official figures are yet accessible to show whether that can be the case.