2016/17 has been a difficult period for Paris, and for France as a whole. The shocking terrorist attacks in Nice and in the capital shook the global community, and comments from the US President Donald Trump – who called Paris ‘out of control’ and ‘dangerous’ – didn’t help western tourists feel particularly safe in the City of Lights.
However, recent figures released by the CRT suggest that the events of the previous year haven’t put off international visitors, with Paris and the surrounding region on course to reach a ten-year high when it comes to tourist visits.
The figures from the Regional Tourism Authority note that 16 million guests stayed in Paris hotels in the first half of 2017, higher than the first half of any year for the last decade. The report also highlights a 14.6% increase in international visitors to the city, and to the surrounding Ile-De-France region. Other areas of France have also seen increases, with the country as a whole predicting a record-breaking 88m+ visitors by the end of the year, and expecting to break 100m international tourists by 2020.
Travel companies are also noting the increase, with luxury villa specialist Oliver’s Travels reporting a rise in interest across their French network, and a surge in visits to their comprehensive French travel guide.
This is of course welcome news to the capital, which had expected visitor numbers to fall, particularly those from the United States after the comments of their president. In fact, visitor numbers from the US have increased by 20% on the previous year, with only China (29.5%) and Japan (40.5%) providing sharper increases.
Visits from the United Kingdom on the other hand have dipped slightly, with 1.7% fewer visits so far in 2017. However, many attribute this to fears around the ongoing Brexit negotiations, rather than concerns over security and terrorism.