People, Travel

Wealthy Tourists Snub France

Wealthy Tourists Snub FranceWealthy Tourists Snub France

Tourists are turning their backs on France due to fears of terrorist attacks, with the wealthiest being the most likely not to come, a French official has said.

It is perhaps inevitable that many of the millions of visitors to France would change their travel plans after repeated terror attacks.

However, certain groups of tourists have been put off more than others, The Local reported.

Overall, since the start of 2016, the number of nights spent in France by foreign visitors has dropped by 10%. And things are not looking too bright for the months to come with travel data company, ForwardKeys, saying international flight bookings are down by 20% for August and September.

Reports in France say it is the wealthiest visitors, particularly those from the US, the Far East and Persian Gulf countries that have decided to visit somewhere else this summer.

France’s secretary of state for tourism, Matthias Fekl, said the wealthy tourists from those three regions “strongly reacted to the attacks and with the plush hotels suffering more (than the others)”.

Normally France is visited by around 3.2 million Americans each year.

Paris and the Ile-de-France region around the capital have missed out the most from the drop in wealthy visitors.

Tourism authorities in Paris have said the visits by Japanese tourists have dropped 56%.

Many in the travel industry stress that violent protests in Paris and regular strikes have also acted to put tourists off coming to France.

Fekl insists, however, that despite hordes of visitors turning their backs on France, the country remains the most visited in the world.

In 2015, France welcomed a record 85 million visitors despite two devastating terror attacks taking place on French soil. The next most visited country was the United States with 78 million tourists.