Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Fri March 04 2016

Has Travel to Europe Recovered From Attacks in Paris? Travel Agents Weigh In.

Travel Agent | Lisa Iannucci | March 04, 2016

Has Travel to Europe Recovered From Attacks in Paris? Travel Agents Weigh In.

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Tourists were left a little shaky when there were several terrorist attacks throughout Europe last year. Time has passed, but has the hysteria lessened any?

“The simple answer to this question is yes,” said Nick Salmen at Remarkable Journeys in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “The impact on our past and current bookings has been very small. We book over 500 European vacations every year. When Paris was attacked last year, only two of our European trips were rescheduled. Both of those trips were to Paris and were rescheduled later in the year.”

Days after the Paris attack, two of Salmen’s agents were in France with more than 3,500 travel agents for an international conference on tourism. “The subject of terrorism impacting all of our lives and the travel industry was top of mind and conversation,” said Salmen. “There were very few reports of canceled trips due to terrorism.”

Alex Sharpe, President & CEO of Signature Travel Network, said that he sees Europe bookings recovering slowly, but surely. “Because the news cycle is so crazy and so fast, many concerns that used to linger just can't,” he said. “They get pushed out by something else. It won't be a banner year for Europe, but I do think it will recover.”

Some tourists have changed destinations away from Paris as a reaction to the terrorist attacks, but have still stayed within Europe. “One couple changed plans to go to Scandinavia rather than the Mediterranean, but many of my clients are still booking France and the Mediterranean,” said Kate Rosevear of Travel Leaders in Plymouth, Michigan. “We have booked as much France this year as we have ever booked.”

READ MORE: What Do Paris Attacks Mean for Border-Free Travel in the EU?

Rosevear had one client with 10-year-old twins who was scheduled to go to London and France. They had considered canceling, and their insurance would’ve covered them, but they decided to go anyway. “They had a wonderful time,” she said. “The French were embracing them because they were there. There were no lines at attractions and they felt no fear.”

She has, however, seen some tour operators cancel trips because they said numbers were low. “I would just put my clients on a similar itinerary with another tour operator,” she said. “I am taking a group to Scandinavia, flying in and out of Copenhagen; they don’t seem phased. Some of them say ‘I am not going to let them tell me I can’t travel.’”

Wally Jones, Travel Leaders, Phoenix, Arizona said that he hasn’t had any clients who wanted to they want to go to other destinations to avoid Europe. “I do have some clients that were looking to do a Mediterranean cruise, but decided they’d like to avoid that area,” he said. “However, they are considering a cruise in other parts of Europe since they do want to travel.”

On the other hand, Rosevear also explains that there was a chance that Europe would have been more greatly affected until the Zika virus hit. “The Zika virus has moved people to Europe who were going to the Caribbean,” she said. “It seems people feel it is harder to avoid a mosquito bite.”

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