Tourism in the Paris area: an "unprecedented slump" since 2010
In the first six months of 2016, tourist visits to Paris and the Ile-de-France region, due to adverse security, social and weather conditions, experienced an "unprecedented slump" since 2010, according to the Comité régional du tourisme (CRT, the regional tourist board).
The CRT highlighted in a survey, presented to the press on Tuesday, that this situation "causes disquieting economic consequences" for tourism professionals in the area, who since January have lost €749.7 million worth of revenue.
Tourist visits to Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region added up to 14.9 million hotel check-ins in the first six months of the year, a 6.4% shortfall compared to the previous year. This is due to a decline in the number of both international (-9.9%) and French (-3.5%) clients. The number of overnight stays fell too, by 8.5%.
In total, from January to the end of June, Ile-de-France hotels welcomed one million less tourists than in the same period in 2015.
"The tourist business has been severely jolted by the adverse context, marked by terrorist attacks (in Paris, Brussels and Nice), popular demonstrations and the floods. The positive result of the Euro 2016 [football championship] did not manage to curtail this trend," underlined the CRT.
Paris, the heart of the area, was even more affected than its environs, with overnight stays down 11.4%, compared to -4.4% in other Ile-de-France provinces.
The number of visits by tourists from Japan (-46.2%), Italy (-27.7%) and Russia (-35%) has plunged, while those by American and Chinese tourists, initially little affected, eventually recorded shortfalls of 5.7% and 19.6% in the period, adding to this ""disquieting declining trend."
In this context, visits to the major monuments in and around Paris have fallen sharply (-43.9% at the Grand Palais, -34.8% at the Arc de Triomphe, -16.3% at the Versailles palace).
The only positive performance was that of business tourism, which grew by 14.4%.
"It is time to acknowledge the industrial catastrophe the tourism sector is going through. Communication campaigns are no longer sufficient, rather an emergency relief plan needs to be put into effect," stated CRT President Frédéric Valletoux, asking Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to "hold forthwith" a meeting with Paris and Ile-de-France tourism professionals.
Throughout the summer, the trend has remained "the same, with a decrease in tourist visits," stated the CRT, without providing any figure.
However, according to CRT, industry professionals are optimistic: 64% of them foresee an improvement in the medium term. As for September, 38% of them assess the bookings situation as "good" or "very good", while it is "average" for 43% and "bad" or "very bad" for 19% of them.
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