It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 percent since the beginning of the year, with tourism authorities reporting at the very least six percent fewer Americans arriving at France this year compared to 2015. The same situation applies throughout the country, according to local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc in the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the problem on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch exactly what is happening in France on tv Americans only see that the continent is broken. You will find strikes in the airports, the streets are filled with trash, also on account of strikes as well as the terrorist attacks,” he said. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel near to the city of Lyon, will not be alone within his worry about the strike security Company on the whole and Americans specifically over the summer 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 over the last week of July.
Following the 1st quarter, there have been 35 percent fewer American visitors than in the same period this past year, based on Didier Chenet, president in the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We already have had 10 percent less bookings in the Paris region with this summer in comparison to last year,” he added.
The Paris region in particular has been severely affected by the drop in quantities of American tourists. Even for the usually popular summer sales, relative few U.S. tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans compared to other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of your women fashion store in the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they like our clothes and they are generally numerous all year around however in particular in the sales. Not this current 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. Their State Secretary of Tourism has not yet published official numbers, but the main agency that promotes tourism in the country, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the amount of American visitors in July when compared to the same month this past year.
“Europeans are still numerous, but tourists coming from the United states and Canada as well as Japan and Brazil are far less than this past year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He was quoted saying those visitors tend to spend more money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, and also the killing of a priest nearby the city of Rouen by two men linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) included with existing concerns about safety.
Way back in May the State Department cautioned Americans about visiting France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory is valid until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, said that wealthy tourists from three regions particularly – the Usa, Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and are staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are contributing to the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The country was just emerging in the outcomes of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the subsequent most popular destination for American visitors is Britain. Some 3.01 million visited that country last year, tourism data show.
Next came Spain and Ireland, with 1.22 and 1.17 million respectively.
Britain, Spain and Ireland may benefit from France’s losses this coming year, although no official figures are yet accessible to show whether which will be the truth.