Paris's Luxury Hotels Suffer 60% Cancellation Rate Following Charlie Hebdo Attacks

Paris hotels
French President Francois Hollande pays his respect near the flag-draped coffins of the nine French Air Force personnel in the Invalides courtyard during a ceremony in Paris February 3, 2015. Philippe Wojazer/REUTERS

The Parisian tourism industry suffered a huge blow in the month following the deadly attacks in Paris, in which three Islamist gunmen killed 17 people, as 80% of all hotel cancellations in the country occurred in hotels in the capital, according to a study compiled by the dining and tourism industry syndicate Synhorcat this week.

According to the report, high-end, luxury hotels suffered the biggest spike in people cancelling bookings, as the average rate for reservation annulments in five-star hotels was over 60% in the last month.

However, it was revealed that the majority of cancellations were made by individuals planning to visit Paris for business rather than pleasure.

The French capital's famous restaurant and cafe culture also took a hit as cancellation rates for reservations at dining establishments and bars in Paris was calculated to be 68%.

The bars, brasseries and cafes which do not normally accept reservations reported a drop in attendance by a third, while revenues also dropped by 11%.

Catering businesses in Paris have suffered across the board with the majority of them indicating they have suffered a revenue loss of between 11% - 30%, while the same figure for the hotel industry was lower - between 6% - 10%.

Meanwhile one in two restaurant owners surveyed said they did not believe the drop in attendance and revenues would persist, however 78% of managers across all restaurants, cafes and bars surveyed said they considered customers to have been visibly "in subdued spirits" to be in the mood for eating or drinking.

The study surveyed 400 businesses in the capital, which are either in the tourism or service industry and are members of the syndicate, however previous studies have also found the attacks which took place in Paris between 7 and 9 of January to have reduced the amount of visitors flocking to the 'City of Light'.

Synhorcat, however, did commend the efforts of the French police and gendarmerie, whose presence on the streets of France was increased since the shootings in a bid to prevent further attacks.

A study published in French weekly magazine L'Express last month indicated cancellations in Parisian hotels were gradually increasing in weekends since the attack, while revenue was dropping by bigger margins with each day.

Nine days after the attack, revenues from tourism in the city dropped by 25%, but ten days after they had dropped by 26%.

Georges Panayotis, tourism consultant, told the magazine that visitors from Muslim countries and the United States were two groups whose visits to the capital had been especially affected by January's events.

Panayotis suggested that Muslim visitors might have opted out of trips to Paris as they feared an anti-Islamic backlash, where as U.S. tourists were probably largely affected by the sensationalist media coverage of the tragedy.

Paris City Council yesterday authorized mayor Anne Hidalgo to file a defamation case against American media outlet Fox News for exaggerating the presence of Islamist terrorism in Paris. In the wake of the attacks, the channel claimed there were eight 'no-go zones' in Paris which non-Muslims wouldn't visit and the police were afraid to go.