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French tourism continues post-attacks recovery

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A beach at Ajaccio in Corsica in July AFP

Tourism in France is continuing its recovery from the effects of the 2015-16 terror attacks, statistics for the second quarter of 2017 published Tuesday showed. France is the world's top tourist destination but the trade took a hit in 2016.


The official statistics institute, Insee, found a 10.2 percent rise in domestic and foreign tourism in France in April-June 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.

Tourism fell 5.3 percent in the second quarter of 2016,  a drop attributed to terror attacks, as well as a rainy summer and social unrest.

The trade seems to be recovering well from that slump, in fact the figures were even four percent higher than those of the second quarter of 2015, before November 2015 Paris attacks and the July 2016 one in Nice.

Insee bases its findings on nights booked in hotels, campsites and other places of temporary residence.

That figure reached 107.1 million the second quarter of 2017.

Paris leads the way

The Paris region staged an even stronger recovery, with a 12.6 percent rise in hotel bookings and a 27.6 percent rise in other tourist accomodation, campsites seeing a particularly impressive rise.

Some of the factors that helped may prove to be temporary, however.

School holidays boosted April's figures, while a heatwave did the same for June, especially at the seaside.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is also responsible for tourism, hopes there will be 88-89 million foreign visitors to France this year, five or six percent more than in 2016.

The government has set a target of 100 million foreign tourists visiting France in 2020.