Business and financeGulliver

France is having a terrible year for tourism

IT SHOULD have been a good year for French tourism. After all, as host of the Euros, the continent’s quadrennial international football tournament, it had the perfect chance to showcase its many charms. Instead, 2016 has been a disaster. Visits to the world’s most popular tourist destination have fallen by over 8% in the year to October, according to Bloomberg, compared with the same period in 2015. The number of nights spent in Parisian hotels fell by 21%.

Brexit hasn’t helped. Britain is the country’s second biggest source of overseas visitors. As sterling has plunged, France has become more expensive for those used to popping across the channel to stock up on plonk and Pont-l’Évêque. Consequently, arrivals from Britain are down by 4%.

But terrorism is the main reason for tourists’ squeamishness. Horrific attacks in Paris and Nice over the past 12 months that claimed hundreds of innocent lives, as well as several other well-publicised atrocities, have made Asians, in particular, think again. Nearly 40% fewer…Continue reading

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