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France

Paris region tourism falls 1.5m in 2016

media The Arc de Triomphe in Paris lost 26 percent of its visitors in 2016 Reuters/Charles Platiau

Paris and its region have lost an estimated 1.3 billion euros in tourist income since the  2015-2016 terror attacks on France, regional officials say. The number of tourists fell 1.5 million in 2016, with the steepest decline in Chinese and Japanese visitors.

According to the Paris Ile-de-France regional tourism authority, the Comité Régional du Tourisme, the number of nights spent in hotels by foreign tourists in 2016 fell by 10.8 percent.

Country-by-country figures showed:

  • China: 268,000 fewer visitors;
  • Japan: 225,000 fewer;
  • Italy: 215,000 fewer;
  • Russia: 65,000 fewer.

Number of French tourists stable

The number of French tourists remains roughly stable at 16.7 million and a loss of 0.8 percent.

Tourists from the US – the source of the most foreign visitors to France – were not much impacted with a loss of only 100,000 visitors.

The decline in visit to museums and monuments was limited and some increased visitor numbers, thanks to "strong programming". 

Visits to the Pompidou Centre, which had shows of the work of Paul Klee and René Magritte, went up nine percent.

But other sites "have suffered deeply from the lack of tourists and cancellations by school groups":

  • Arc de triomphe: -24 percent;
  • Louvre museum: -13,3 percent;
  • Orsay museum: -12,9 percent;
  • Versailles château: -9,8 percent;
  • Disneyland Paris: -9,5 percent.

However, France as a whole attracted between 82.5 million and 83 million foreign visitors in 2016, maintaining its rank as the world's top tourist destination.

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