French gendarmes officers patrol near the Eiffel Tower
London - AFP
Shops and some major British tourist attractions saw a decline in visitor numbers following attacks in Paris this month, according to figures from consultants Springboard published on Monday.
According to the estimates, November 14, the day after 130 people were killed in coordinated attacks on public spaces in Paris, Britain’s high streets saw a drop in visitors of 16.7 percent compared to the same day a year previously.
The London Eye ferris wheel on the bankside of the River Thames saw 32.1 percent fewer visitors, while the National Gallery recorded a 25.3 percent drop and the British Museum was down 4.0 percent.
In some cases the downward trend was seen across several days, with the restaurant and opera district of Covent Garden in London seeing days of decline, with visitor numbers down 56.6 percent on Thursday.
“The drop in footfall recorded post the atrocities in Paris are likely to be result from a cautiousness amongst visitors in terms of making trips to key attractions,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard.
Nevertheless other factors could be at play, she added. Shops could be seeing the effect of consumers postponing purchases until “Black Friday” on November 27, a day of sales in the United States that has become increasingly popular in Britain.
The Springboard figures are compiled through electronic people counters at the destinations, and compared to the same day of the week a year previously.
Bernard Donoghue of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions said the decline recorded was modest and that cancellations by French visitors played a role.
“There has been a very small decline in visitor numbers reported across some London attractions over the last week, compared to the same week last year,” Donoghue said.
“Attractions report that the principal reason for cancellations are that French school groups have canceled in accordance with French government instructions not to travel or undertake school trips.”