It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 percent since the beginning of the entire year, with tourism authorities reporting at the very least six percent fewer Americans coming over to France this coming year in comparison with 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 exactly what is happening in France on television Americans only see that the land is broken. There are strikes inside the airports, the streets are filled with trash, also due to strikes as well as the terrorist attacks,” he explained. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel nearby the town of Lyon, will not be alone in his concern yourself with the labor unrest security generally and Americans in particular this season season. Normally around 3.2 million Americans visit France every year.
Airlines companies say 19.2 percent fewer flights were booked to France by American visitors during the last week of July.
After the initial quarter, there had been 35 % fewer American visitors than throughout the same period last year, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president of the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have already had 10 percent less bookings inside the Paris region for this summer in comparison to a year ago,” he added.
The Paris region specifically has become severely affected by the drop in numbers of American tourists. For the usually popular summer sales, relative few U.S. tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans compared to the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of any women fashion store inside the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they appreciate our clothes plus they are numerous all year around but in particular throughout the sales. Not this current year.”
The south east of France also has suffered a whole lot considering that the July 14 terror attack in Nice, which cost 84 lives on Bastille Day. The State Secretary of Tourism has not published official numbers, although the main agency that promotes tourism in the country, Atout France, confirmed a six percent drop in the quantity of American visitors in July in comparison to the same month just last year.
“Europeans remain numerous, but tourists coming from the U.S. and Canada in addition to Japan and Brazil tend to be lower than just last year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He was quoted saying those visitors often spend more money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, and the killing of the priest near the town of Rouen by two men connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) included with existing concerns about safety.
Way back in May their 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, claimed that wealthy tourists from three regions especially – the U.S., Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and seem to be staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are adding to the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The country was just emerging in the effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the next most widely used 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 open to show whether that can be the situation.