Paris region loses 1.5 million tourists over terror fears

The Local
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Paris region loses 1.5 million tourists over terror fears

Tourism in the greater Paris region Île-de-France has been hit hard by terror fears, the latest figures show. But it's turning around.


"In total, in 2016, hotel owners in Île-de-France welcomed 1.5 million fewer French and international tourists compared to 2015," the Regional Tourism Committee reported on Tuesday. 

While the average number of tourists visiting the region has only decreased by 0.8 percent, the drop was particularly sharp among some countries more than others.

There were 21.5 percent fewer Chinese tourists setting down their suitcases in the Paris region, and 41.2 percent fewer tourists from Japan checking in to hotels in the region.

Among Europeans, Italians were the most put off visiting the region, sending 27.6 percent fewer tourists in 2016. British and Spanish visitors were less dissuaded, with their numbers only falling by 8.6 percent and 9.9 percent respectively.

But the least wary trip-makers were Americans, Paris region's biggest source of visitors, whose numbers were "barely affected" by the attacks, only dropping by 4.9 percent.

Paris tourism numbers have been in decline since 2015, after the massacre in January at Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and the Paris attacks in November which killed 130.

However, perhaps thanks to these US holidaymakers, the Committee reported that tourism in the region has seen "a smaller reduction than expected" in 2016. 

It added that things even turned around at the end of the year, with the Paris region seeing 12 percent more visitors in November and December compared to the year before. 

The Committee has yet to publish the definitive figures for the rest of France, but the French government has recently assured that France remains the world’s top tourist destination, with between 82.5 million and 83 million foreign visitors flocking to the country in 2016. 

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