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 coming over to France this year compared to 2015. The same situation applies country wide, according to local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc from the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the problem on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch what is happening in France on television Americans only observe that the continent is broken. You will find strikes inside 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 the town of Lyon, is not really alone in the be worried about the strike security on the whole and Americans in particular this year 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 over the last week of July.
Following the initial quarter, there have been 35 % fewer American visitors than through the same period this past year, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president from the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have previously had 10 percent less bookings from the Paris region for this particular summer compared to this past year,” he added.
The Paris region particularly continues to be severely affected by the drop in variety 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 in comparison to the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of the women fashion store inside the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they enjoy our clothes and they are numerous all year around but also in particular throughout the sales. Not this year.”
The south east of France also has suffered a great deal 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, however the main agency that promotes tourism in america, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the amount of American visitors in July when compared to the same month just last year.
“Europeans will still be numerous, but tourists coming from the Usa and Canada and also Japan and Brazil are far less than this past year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He said those visitors have a tendency to spend more money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, along with the killing of your priest close 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 in May the State Department cautioned Americans about planing a trip 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 specifically – the United states, Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and are most often staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are increasing the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The country was only emerging in the outcomes of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, another most in-demand 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 will benefit from France’s losses this season, although no official figures are yet open to show whether that will be the truth.