France’s tourism sector has taken a beating following the coronavirus outbreak, according to the country’s finance minister, with tourist arrivals down by as low as 40%.
Amid travel bans and trip postponements due to COVID-19, demand for air travel has fallen, leading to more than 200,000 flight cancellations.
France is one of the most visited countries in the world, and the fall in visitors has a huge impact on the French economy.
According to the country’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, 89.4 million visitors toured France in 2018 and tourism accounts for nearly 8% of its gross domestic product. It also welcomes around 2.7 million Chinese tourists each year.
France has reported 12 confirmed cases of the virus and one death, according to a World Health Organization report dated February 22.