It’s high summer in Paris, but the number of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 percent since the starting of the year, with tourism authorities reporting at the very least six percent fewer Americans coming to France this current year compared to 2015. Exactly the same situation applies country wide, according to local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc in the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the specific situation on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch precisely what is happening in France on tv Americans only see that the land is broken. There are strikes in the airports, the streets are packed with trash, also on account of strikes as well as the terrorist attacks,” he was quoted saying. “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 services in general and Americans in particular over the summer season. Normally around 3.2 million Americans visit France each year.
Airlines companies say 19.2 percent fewer flights were booked to France by American visitors during the last week of July.
At the conclusion of the very first quarter, there had been 35 % fewer American visitors than throughout the same period this past year, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president of the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have previously had 10 percent less bookings in the Paris region for this summer compared to last year,” he added.
The Paris region specifically continues to be severely affected by the drop in amounts 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 than the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of a women fashion store within the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they love our clothes and they are generally numerous all year around nevertheless in particular in the sales. Not this season.”
The south east of France has also suffered a lot since the July 14 terror attack in Nice, which cost 84 lives on Bastille Day. The State Secretary of Tourism has not yet published official numbers, but the main agency that promotes tourism in america, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the volume of American visitors in July when compared to the same month a year ago.
“Europeans will still be numerous, but tourists coming from the U.S. and Canada as well as Japan and Brazil are much under last year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He stated those visitors have a tendency to spend more money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, and the killing of a priest close to the city 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 traveling 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 particularly – 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 from the outcomes of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the following most popular place to go for American visitors is Britain. Some 3.01 million visited that country a year ago, 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 open to show whether that will be the situation.