It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 percent since the starting of the year, with tourism authorities reporting no less than six percent fewer Americans coming over to France this coming year when compared with 2015. A similar situation applies across the country, as outlined by local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc of your hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the specific situation on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch exactly what is happening in France on tv Americans only observe that the continent is broken. There are strikes from the airports, the streets are filled with trash, also because of strikes and of course the terrorist attacks,” he was quoted saying. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel nearby the town of Lyon, is not alone in his be concerned about the labor unrest security in general and Americans especially this season season. Normally around 3.2 million Americans visit France each and every year.
Airlines companies say 19.2 percent fewer flights were booked to France by American visitors over the last week of July.
At the end of the first quarter, there ended up being 35 % fewer American visitors than through the same period last year, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president of your hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have already had 10 % less bookings inside the Paris region for this summer when compared with this past year,” he added.
The Paris region especially has become severely impacted by the drop in amounts of American tourists. For the usually popular summer sales, relative few United states tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans than the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of any women fashion store within the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they like our clothes plus they are numerous all year around but in particular throughout the sales. Not this season.”
The south east of France also has suffered a great deal because 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 united states, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the number of American visitors in July when compared to same month a year ago.
“Europeans are still numerous, but tourists coming from the U.S. and Canada and also Japan and Brazil tend to be lower than last year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He explained those visitors tend to spend more money money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, along with the killing of a priest near the city of Rouen by two men connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) put into existing concerns about safety.
Way back in May the 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, claimed that wealthy tourists from three regions in particular – the Usa, Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and are staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are increasing the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The country was only emerging through the results of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the next most widely used place to go for American visitors is Britain. Some 3.01 million visited that country this past 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 year, although no official figures are yet available to show whether that might be the truth.