Recent statements from French government officials and representatives of the travel industry suggest french tourism drops have been significant. A headline in the Paris paper Le Monde (The World) says it all, ” After the Attacks, Foreign Tourists Leave France”.
In the first six months of the year,the number of overnight stays of foreign tourists in France fell by an average of 10%, due to concerns over the attacks, said Secretary of State for tourism promotion, Matthias Fekl. The decline in international arrivals is a serious blow to the French economy as France has enjoyed being the number one destination for foreign tourists. Here’s a breakdown of the statistics.
Decline in Numbers
- In Paris, hotel occupancy fell by 9.8 points to 78.1% in July compared to last year, according to figures from the Economic Observatory of Paris tourism.
- Airline reservations for American tourists declined by 19.2% between 25 and 31 July, while they were up 14% between June 27 and July 3.
- Airline reservations of the British fell 23% last week of July, under the combined effect of the attacks, the Brexit and the fall of the pound, according to Thomas Deschamps, economic and Observatory Paris tourism statistics.
- The festival of Bayonne posted a decline in attendance of 20%.
- The Loire castles, one of the most visited castles in France, experienced a general decline in attendance of 6%, but a fall of 20% for Japanese customers, according to its CEO Jean d’Haussonville, quoted in Le Parisien last week.
- The firm Protourisme estimates convention cancellations and works council bookings related to business tourism will be down 5% to 10% in September compared to last year.
Unfortunately for the tourism industry in France on-going uncertainty about security and and the state of the global economy means that French tourism drops are likely to continue into the Fall.