Attacks take toll on tourism
FRANCE’S already battered tourism industry took a further hit in late July during what should have been the height of the season, as foreign visitors stayed away after 84 people were killed in Nice on Bastille Day.
In the week following the July 14 attack on the Riviera city’s Promenade des Anglais boulevard, arrivals by air slumped 8.8 percent compared with the same period in 2015, according to data from ForwardKeys which daily sifts more than 14 million air travel transactions.
The sector has been struggling for months, not least since the November 13 attacks in and around Paris which claimed 130 lives.
Between January and July 10, arrivals to France by air were down 5.8pc, and down 11pc to here.
Flight reservations to France following the Nice attack were down a good 20pc.
France is the world’s top tourist destination.
The nation had hoped the Euro 2016 football championships would give tourism a shot in the arm – but has been disappointed.
“Nice wiped out the Euro football effect, which went off well in security terms and polished France’s image,” said Frederic Valletoux, chair of the Ile de France regional tourist authority.
After Nice, President Francois Hollande extended the state of emergency “which doesn’t help us – we continue to see customer numbers contract, especially Americans and Asians”, said Mr Valletoux.
He says a consolation is that “French clients seem to be staying firm”, even if Herve Becam, chair of the main hoteliers’ union Umih, noted that overall “the trend is not good”.
People cool off in the water of the Trocadero fountains in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The French tourism sector recorded a poor July following the attack in Nice on July 14.