The French Union of Hoteliers (UMIH) and the National Association of Hotel Chains (GNC) discussed the falling number of tourists caused by the security situation in the country with Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. According to the latest estimates by UMIH, French hoteliers estimate that they have lost about 10% of their guests in July and August.
Paris, the Ile-de-France, and the French Riviera are regions representing 50% of the French hotel industry. They have suffered the most of the consequences of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice. Local hoteliers however also feel the impact of the tarnished image of France due to poor weather conditions, strikes and protests.
“Several luxury hotels in Paris have lost up to 40% of their guests this summer in comparison to last year,” said Hervé Becam, the vice president of UMIH. “3-star hotels lost between 20 and 30% of their visitors.”
According to him, the situation has deteriorated slightly less in Ile-de-France with a drop of 10% of the number of visitors. As for the French Riviera, the occupancy is also down by 10% compared to last year.
“The results for other regions are mixed,” said Becam. “With some areas down by 5% and others on the rise, such as the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, where hotel revenue is up by 7.5%.” The regions of Centre-Loire Valley and Pays de la Loire also recorded an increase of occupancy of 2%.
Since the beginning of the year, the overall decline in the number of tourists in hotels is around 4 to 5%. The visitors from Japan, USA and China are among those whose numbers in France decreased the most.
During the meeting with Jean-Marc Ayrault, the hoteliers asked the Minister for the implementation of urgent measures for the French tourism industry in order to save the end of 2016 and to relaunch 2017.
Both professional organizations suggested to reassure the international clientele by informing them in real time and in their own language on the security of France via social networks. In the embassies, they also suggested that upon delivery of visas, future tourists are provided with a manual which details safety precautions for tourists. They demand the creation of a tourist police brigade. The UMIH and GNC also want Atout France to have a special budget for extra promotion of France as a destination and of the image of the country abroad.