Terror attacks scare off France's visitors in July
FRANCE'S already-battered tourism industry took a further hit late last month, during what should have been the height of the season as foreign visitors stayed away after 84 people were killed in Nice on Bastille Day.
In the week following the July 14 attack, arrivals by air slumped 8.8 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to data from ForwardKeys which sifts more than 14 million air travel transactions daily.
The sector has been struggling for months, not least since the Nov 13 attacks in Paris which claimed 130 lives.
Between January and July 10, arrivals to France by air were down 5.8 per cent, and down 11 per cent to Paris.
France is the world's top tourist destination and the tourism sector accounts for around 9 per cent of gross domestic product.
France had hoped the Euro 2016 football championships would give tourism a shot in the arm - but has been disappointed.
"Nice wiped out the Euro football effect, which went off well in security terms and polished France's image," said Frederic Valletoux, chairman of the Ile de France regional tourist authority.
After Nice, President Francois Hollande extended the state of emergency "which doesn't help us - we continue to see customer numbers contract, especially Americans and Asians", said Mr Valletoux.
Herve Becam, chairman of the main hoteliers' union Umih, noted that overall "the trend is not good".
The Cote d'Azur area, usually a major summer draw, saw hotel occupancy rates fall between 5 and 10 per cent.
In Paris, Umih expects a dip of nearer 20 per cent.
Other regions have also been hit, including Normandy where a priest was killed by two extremists last Tuesday.
Revenue per room for five-star Parisian establishments had been up 9 per cent before the Nice attacks but by Thursday was 45 per cent below the norm, said Umih's Prestige offshoot - which added that Chinese demand has been sorely affected.