It’s high summer in Paris, but the volume of foreign visitors has dropped by 15 % since the starting of the entire year, with tourism authorities reporting a minimum of six percent fewer Americans coming over to France this coming year compared to 2015. Exactly the same situation applies across the nation, according to local tourism officials.
Laurent Duc in 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 realize that the continent is broken. There are actually strikes from the airports, the streets are loaded with trash, also because of strikes and naturally the terrorist attacks,” he said. “Therefore they [avoid] our country.”
Duc, who owns an hotel close to the town of Lyon, is just not alone in their be concerned about the labor unrest security generally speaking and Americans especially over the summer 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 within the last week of July.
After the initial quarter, there ended up being 35 percent fewer American visitors than during the same period last year, as outlined by Didier Chenet, president in the hotels, restaurants and bars union, GNI-Synhorcat.
“We have already had 10 % less bookings in the Paris region for this summer in comparison with just last year,” he added.
The Paris region in particular is severely influenced by the drop in variety 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 than the other years,” said Sheherazad Beljnaoui, head of any women fashion store within the capital’s Le Marais neighborhood. “In general they appreciate our clothes and they are generally numerous all year around but in particular throughout the sales. Not this season.”
The south east of France has suffered a whole lot 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, nevertheless 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 are still numerous, but tourists from the United states and Canada as well as Japan and Brazil are much lower than last year,” said spokesman Philippe Maud’hui.
He explained 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 any priest nearby the city of Rouen by two men linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) included with existing concerns about safety.
Back in May the State Department cautioned Americans about traveling to France, citing last year’s terrorist attacks. The advisory is valid until August 31.
France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, mentioned that wealthy tourists from three regions in particular – the U.S., Asia and Gulf countries – “reacted strongly to str1ke attacks” and are most often staying away.
But tourism industry representatives say strikes are contributing to the overall drop in foreign tourist numbers.
The country was only emerging in the effects of the November ISIS attacks in Paris when industrial actions erupted.
After France, another most popular place to go 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 may benefit from France’s losses this year, although no official figures are yet offered to show whether which will be the situation.