Parisians like to say that in August, they leave the city for vacation and entrust the keys to the tourists. This year, less tourists are taking up the offer, deterred by recent Islamist militant attacks in France.
Hotel occupancy fell by 12 percent in June this year, compared to June 2015, marketing consulting group MKG Hospitality said. The number of flight arrivals for the month of July decreased by 10 percent compared to last year, according to travel data tracker ForwardKeys.
In previous years, it could take hours to queue in popular sites like the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower. This time, lines are noticeably shorter. A tourist from Canada, Pejman, said they visited Nice, and tried not to think of last month’s deadly attack. “So we were in Nice for two days and we enjoyed it, we tried not to think. We were sad, we saw the location that the sad accident happened and we were sad. But we try not to just get afraid because life has to go on,” he said
France’s tourism industry, an important driver of its economy, has suffered since Islamic State gunmen killed 130 people in an attack in Paris in November last year. It was dealt further blows in July when a militant killed 85 people by ramming a truck into crowds in the Riviera city Nice. Two weeks later, two men killed a priest in a small town in Normandy. Read more..