After suffering a 1.5 million drop in visitors from 2015 to 2016 following a string of terror attacks, France’s Île-de-France region — which is home to Paris — has bounced back and is set to have its best year since 2008, when current records began.
The Regional Tourism Board (CRT) of Île-de-France said that 16.4 million people came to the region in the first six months of 2017, a 10.2 percent increase in the same timeframe in 2016, .
This year’s uptick is thanks to a number of factors, according to the French broadcaster , including increased security, events like the Paris Air Show, a stimulus of €8 million (or about $9.43 million) for the tourism sector, which is responsible for and the new concert hall that opened on an island in the river earlier this year.
It also helps that two of Paris’s most iconic hotels — the Ritz Paris and — both recently reopened after multi-year renovations, flights to Europe from the United States have been this year as well.
Frederic Valletoux, president of the Paris region tourist board, that if things continued in a similar pattern, they expect to see between 32 and 34 million tourist arrivals in 2017, up from 30 million in 2016 and 32 million in 2015.
However, he was cautious to say if last week’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona would affect travel to Europe overall.
“The international situation remains turbulent and terrorism a daily threat," Valletoux said, but was optimistic that the Spanish city would bounce back as quickly as Paris did.
"One can expect Barcelona to experience some slowdown,” Valletoux said. “It took three years for New York to bounce back after the Sept 11 attacks, for Madrid it was a year (after the 2004 commuter train bombings) and for Paris also a year.”