European Tourism Hit Hard by Terrorist Attacks

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.

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Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.