At­tacks take toll on tourism

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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”.

Photo: AFP

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.

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