Overnight stays fell about 10 percent on average this year through July, with high-spending travelers from the U.S., Asia and the Persian Gulf states reacting strongly to the attacks, French Secretary of State for Tourism Matthias Fekl said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche Sunday. Luxury accommodation was the worst hit while travelers from Europe haven't canceled their plans, the minister was cited as saying.
Tourism is big business for France, which has been hit hardest among European countries by Islamic State-inspired killings since the start of last year. The murder in July of an elderly priest in Normandy and the Bastille Day massacre in Nice followed assaults last year in Paris -- one of the most-visited cities in the world -- on concert goers and a satiric newspaper.
International flight bookings to Nice dropped 57 percent compared with the previous year from the date of the attack to July 23, while planned arrivals this month and in September were down by about a fifth for France as a whole, according to travel-data specialist ForwardKeys, citing reservation numbers through July 23.