When school superintendent David Hile saw a television report on the Brussels terrorist attacks last week, he knew he had to make an unpopular move: Cancel a high-school trip to Europe that was scheduled to leave two days later.
“I immediately knew we had to cancel,” said the administrator of Licking Valley High School, based in a suburb outside Columbus, Ohio.
The March 22 bomb blasts in Brussels, which killed at least 35 people and wounded more than 300, came four months after the deadly terror attacks in Paris had already reduced travel to Europe, by far the most-visited region in the world.
The impact of the Brussels terror onslaught was immediate. Within days, occupancy rates at some hotels in the city plunged to just 25%, according to preliminary estimates from STR, a company that tracks hotel industry data. The rate had been 82% the night before the bombings.
Other European cities felt ripple effects. Hotel-occupancy rates in London slid to 58% by last Thursday, and those in Paris fell to 67%, according to STR. Those figures, based on a sample of hotels in each city, represent declines of 24.7 percentage points and 15.1 percentage points, respectively, compared with rates a year earlier, the company said.