Occupancy rates at some Paris hotels down more than 30 per cent following terror attacks

Occupancy rates at some Paris hotels have plunged by more than 30 per cent in the days since the Nov. 13 terror attacks, according to a company that tracks hotel industry data.

STR Global said that compared to the same dates a year ago, occupancy rates were 39 per cent lower last Saturday and 33 per cent lower last Sunday, the two most recent days in the company’s report.

The day after the attacks, there was a 14 per cent drop from the same date a year earlier, followed by decreases in the 20 and 30 per cent range Nov. 15 to 20.

STR Global cautioned that its report only represents 37 per cent of its monthly sample for Paris hotels, so the data is not definitive. But it does confirm anecdotal and other reports of a downturn in leisure travel to France.

The leading U.S. airlines, online travel agencies and ticket-distribution companies declined to comment on booking trends.

But travel-information company Forward Data SL said bookings to Paris over the Christmas holiday were down 13 per cent compared with last year since the Nov. 13 attacks.

Forward Data CEO Olivier Jager said in an interview that the company reviewed bookings data that it buys from ticket information distribution systems used by 200,000 travel agencies. The information does not include trips booked directly with the airlines, which is roughly half of all tickets.

Forward Data said cancellations among passengers who had already purchased tickets spiked in the days after the attacks but returned to normal levels within a week.

Much of the decline in new bookings appeared to come from leisure travellers — not surprising, since business travel in Europe tends to slow during December. Bookings with online travel agencies fell faster than those from corporate travel offices, according to Forward Data. Christmas bookings from the U.S. to Paris had been running ahead of 2014 levels until the attacks but fell slightly below last year’s pace after Nov. 13, the company reported.

The three biggest U.S. airlines have said they are continuing to operate normal schedules between the U.S. and Paris.

A website that compares rates for travel insurance, InsureMyTrip, said in a statement that its agents were experiencing an estimated 20 per cent jump in queries from travellers overall seeking insurance since the Paris attacks.