Many travelers have decided to cancel their vacations to Paris following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks — but for anyone who’s still looking for the perfect 2016 vacation, Paris might just be the perfect spot for this very reason.
As Skift recently reported, Paris has seen a sudden drop in tourism over the past two months. For the first time since 2011, an annual survey from Travel Leaders Group found that Paris wasn’t among the top 10 international travel destinations for 2016. Although there hasn’t been a significant drop in trip cancellations, around 10% of travel agents said that clients were delaying trips to Paris, while 6% of travel agents said they had cancelled at least one Paris vacation for a client.
Nevertheless, planning a trip to Paris might just be the smartest decision that travelers can make right now. As the Los Angeles Times noted, city tourism officials in Paris saw a significant drop in activity immediately following the attacks and there’s still some concern that the city will take a hard hit during 2016 due to the lack of visitors.
Many people have stated, however, that they are still planning to visit Paris “to send a message of defiance” and to support the Parisian community in the wake of such a tragedy.
It just so happens that France is in the middle of several projects and developments, many of which will come to fruition throughout 2016. Many museums have begun using free apps to provide visitors with audio guides, and also for online ticketing options. The Carnavalet Museum, which features extensive exhibits on French history, is undergoing renovations during 2016.
Parisian officials just began cleaning out the popular tourist spot, the Canal St-Martin, and this will be completed in approximately three months. For travelers hoping to venture outside of Paris, a new direct express bus line easily connects to Vaison-la-Romaine, where visitors can see ancient Roman ruins.
And no visit to the City of Light is complete without stopping by the Eiffel Tower, which recently underwent a $38 million renovation on its first level and now includes shops, dining options, and a multimedia presentation about the history of the monument.
“Whether it’s a show of defiance or not, tourists are currently booking their trips for the summer, which is an early jump never seen before,” said Alley Bradley, Managing Director for Paris Copia. “Already, we’ve seen higher demand for our Paris vacation apartment rentals for the summer months.”
Bradley added, “Paris routinely hosts world-class events throughout the year and that’s one of the major draws to the City of Light. This year, France will host the final round of the 15th UEFA European Football Championships, and 12 matches will be played in Paris alone. A revered European football event, the UEFA Euro 2016 is a spectacle that draws thousands of tourists to the city who take part in festivities both inside and outside the stadium.”
In addition to the city’s various developments, as the Chicago Tribune reported, the value of the U.S. dollar is around 15% stronger than the euro compared to currency values at the beginning of 2015. This means that vacationing in a country like France will be much more affordable.