French Tourism Suffering in Wake of Recent Attacks
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Recent terrorist attacks have dealt a significant blow to French tourism.
In a recent interview with the Journal du Dimanche, French Secretary of State for Tourism Matthias Fekl revealed that overnight stays in Paris have dropped about 10 percent on average through the first seven months of 2016.
What's more, the destination is seeing fewer visitors from key markets outside of Europe, including the U.S. and Asia.
Fekl noted that luxury accommodations have been hit the hardest as a result of the dropoff.
In addition to hotel stays, flight bookings are down as well. Citing figures from travel data specialist ForwardKeys, Bloomberg reported international flight bookings to Nice —the site of last month's Bastille Day massacre that left 86 dead — dropped by 57 percent from July 14 to July 23 compared to the previous year.
ForwardKeys' data also shows planned arrivals for August and September are down by approximately one-fifth for the country as a whole.
The decline is critical to France's economy considering tourism accounts for as much as eight percent of the country's revenue.
Although Paris, Nice and France in general remain coveted destinations for travelers from around the world, it's clear that recent events have damaged the country's image and subsequently hurt its tourism industry.
While French officials have ramped up security at popular attractions and transportation hubs in response, only time will tell if and when France will bounce back and regain the confidence of foreign travelers.
But things could get worse before they get better, with MKG tourism consultancy managing director Vanguelis Panayotis telling Reuters last month that France could potentially see a 30 percent decline in visitor numbers in the coming months.
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