It’s high summer in Paris, but the number of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 % since the beginning of the entire year, with tourism authorities reporting a minimum of six percent fewer Americans arriving at France this coming year compared to 2015. Exactly the same situation applies across the country, based on local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc of the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the problem on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch exactly what is happening in France on television Americans only observe that the continent is broken. There are actually strikes in the airports, the streets are filled with trash, also because of strikes not to mention the terrorist attacks,” he was quoted saying. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel near the city of Lyon, is not alone in the be concerned about the labor strike security companies on the whole and Americans particularly this year 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 in the last week of July.
At the end of the very first quarter, there was 35 % fewer American visitors than during the same period a year ago, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president of the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have already had 10 % less bookings inside the Paris region just for this summer compared to last year,” he added.
The Paris region especially is severely impacted by the drop in numbers of American tourists. Even for the usually popular summer sales, relative few Usa tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans than the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of a women fashion store from the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they enjoy our clothes and are generally numerous all year around but also in particular during the sales. Not this year.”
The south east of France has suffered a lot since 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, although the main agency that promotes tourism in the nation, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the quantity of American visitors in July when compared to same month this past year.
“Europeans will still be numerous, but tourists coming from the U.S. and Canada in addition to Japan and Brazil tend to be less than a year ago,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He said those visitors tend to spend more money money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, as well as the killing of the priest nearby the town of Rouen by two men linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) included in existing concerns about safety.
Back May the State Department cautioned Americans about going to France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory is valid until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, stated that wealthy tourists from three regions particularly – the U.S., Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and are most often staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are adding to the normal drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The nation was only emerging from your negative effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the subsequent most favored 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 will benefit from France’s losses this coming year, although no official figures are yet accessible to show whether which will be the way it is.