Paris - The French tourism industry, which was already on decline due to concerns over a string of terrorist attacks in the nation, is seeing the slump intensify after last week's attack in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said that the attack in Nice, during which a man killed 84 people celebrating Bastille Day by ploughing a truck through a crowd, had sent shock waves through the popular tourism region.
“It is clear that we are seeing the first drop in reservations in French and international tourism,” Macron said. “We do not know whether this will be a permanent drop, but there has already been a 20-30 per cent decrease in certain sectors.”
Speaking after a meeting with members of the tourism industry, Macron said that the whole of France could be affected, including in the Parisian region.
France has registered a drop in tourist bookings, with six per cent fewer overnight stays in greater Paris in the first quarter of this year compared to last.
France is a popular international tourism destination, and revenue from visitor spending represents an important part of the French economy. About 7.4 percent of France's gross domestic product (GDP) is generated by tourism.
Tourism spiked for four weeks in June and early July due to the Euro 2016 football tournament, which drew an estimated 1 million foreign visitors. France deployed approximately 90 000 security personnel to ensure the tournament went forward without a hitch despite the high terrorist threat level.