It’s high summer in Paris, but the amount of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 percent since the beginning of the season, with tourism authorities reporting a minimum of six percent fewer Americans visiting France this current year when compared with 2015. Exactly the same situation applies across the country, based on local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc in the 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 country is broken. You can find strikes within the airports, the streets are full of trash, also due to strikes not to mention the terrorist attacks,” he stated. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel near the town of Lyon, is just not alone within his worry about the strike security Company generally speaking and Americans especially this 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 over the last week of July.
At the conclusion of the first quarter, there had been 35 % fewer American visitors than in the same period a year ago, based on Didier Chenet, president of the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have already had 10 percent less bookings in the Paris region just for this summer in comparison to a year ago,” he added.
The Paris region in particular has been severely affected by the drop in numbers of American tourists. Even for the usually popular summer sales, relative few United states tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans compared to other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of the women fashion store in the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they enjoy our clothes and are generally numerous all year around however in particular during the sales. Not this coming year.”
The south east of France also has suffered a great deal considering that the July 14 terror attack in Nice, which cost 84 lives on Bastille Day. Their State Secretary of Tourism has not published official numbers, although 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 last year.
“Europeans remain numerous, but tourists from the U.S. and Canada along with Japan and Brazil are far below this past year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He stated those visitors tend to spend more money than French or European tourists do on hotels and restaurants.
The terror attack in Nice, and also the killing of the priest near to the city of Rouen by two men connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) added to existing concerns about safety.
In May their state Department cautioned Americans about visiting France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory applies until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, stated that wealthy tourists from three regions especially – the U.S., 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 land was only emerging in the effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, another most favored place to go for American visitors is Britain. Some 3.01 million visited that country just last year, 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 season, although no official figures are yet open to show whether which will be the way it is.