by Lisa A. Grimaldi | August 23, 2017
The City of Light saw a boost in tourist visits and spending in the first half of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016, according to Paris's Regional Tourism Board of Île-de-France. A large drop in visitors had occurred in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that rocked France in 2015 and 2016.  
Hotel stays by overseas visitors -- with U.S. and Chinese tourists making up the largest numbers -- climbed to 7.6 million while stays by French nationals rose to nearly 9 million. Those figures mark the largest number visitors in the first half of a year since 2008.
Tourism spending also saw a significant boost, rising 11 percent to nearly $12 billion.  
At a press conference Tuesday, Frederic Valletoux, president of the Paris region tourist board, said a strong July and August and good bookings for September means the region could see 32-34 million tourist arrivals this year compared with 30 million in 2016 and 32 million in 2015, according to press reports. He said 2017 could be a record year, but noted that the recent terror attacks in Barcelona could have an impact on other destinations in Europe, such as Paris.