It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 % since the beginning of the season, with tourism authorities reporting a minimum of six percent fewer Americans coming to France this season compared to 2015. Exactly the same situation applies across the country, in accordance with local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc of the hotel owners’ union UMIH blamed the specific situation on security fears and labor unrest.
“When they watch what exactly is happening in France on television Americans only observe that the continent is broken. You will find strikes in the airports, the streets are filled with trash, also as a result of strikes and naturally the terrorist attacks,” he explained. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel near the town of Lyon, is just not alone in their be concerned about the labor unrest security generally and Americans specifically 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.
After the first quarter, there ended up being 35 % fewer American visitors than through the same period just last year, according to Didier Chenet, president in the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We already have had 10 percent less bookings within the Paris region just for this summer in comparison to last year,” he added.
The Paris region especially is severely affected by the drop in numbers of American tourists. For the usually popular summer sales, relative few Usa tourists made the trip.
“This year we had much fewer Americans compared to other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of any women fashion store within the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they love our clothes and they are generally numerous all year around however in particular in the sales. Not this year.”
The south east of France has also suffered a good deal ever since 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 the united states, 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 are still numerous, but tourists coming from the U.S. and Canada along with Japan and Brazil tend to be below a year ago,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He explained those visitors usually 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 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 the State Department cautioned Americans about visiting France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory is valid until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, claimed that wealthy tourists from three regions particularly – 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 adding to the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The nation was only emerging from the effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, the subsequent most popular 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 will benefit from France’s losses this current year, although no official figures are yet open to show whether which will be the case.