Iraq and euro hit tourism on French Riviera
MARSEILLE, France, Feb 5 (AFP) - Tourism to the French Riviera fell 2.5 percent last year because of uncertainty brought on by the Iraq war and the steep rise of the euro against the dollar, the head of the regional tourist board, Patrick Menucci, said Thursday.
The sun-drenched Mediterranean coast and its hinterland last year welcomed 34.6 million tourists – nearly half of the 75 million who went to France, the world’s most-visited country, according to figures Menucci presented.
“The tally for 2003 is not brilliant,” he said, blaming “an exceptionally difficult international context”, poor economic growth, a heatwave last summer and a strike by festival performers.
Hoteliers saw the number of foreigners taking rooms drop by 14.7 percent, with much of that explained by the relative absence of Americans (32 percent fewer) compared to the previous year, followed by that of the Japanese (down 26.1 percent).
Subject: France news