French hotels estimated to have lost 270 mln euros from Paris attacks

PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The deadly attacks in Paris in November has cost French hoteliers an estimated 270 million euros ($293 million) in lost revenue and could continue to have an impact on hotel occupancy rates, research firm MKG Group said on Tuesday.

The hospitality research firm said the sector was still suffering in January but there was some prospect of a recovery from mid-February, provided there are no more incidents.

Improving economic conditions, the Euro 2016 soccer tournament to be held in France in June and trade fairs, should help hotel room demand this year, it added.

The French capital has been on high alert since 130 people were killed in shootings and suicide bombings in Paris on Nov. 13.

“We estimate the revenue shortfall for the French hotel industry at 270 million euros, of which 146 million was for Paris alone,” Vanguelis Panayotis, director of development at MKG told reporters.

MKG’s estimate is for the November 2015 to March 2016 period.

The attacks have sent shudders through the tourism industry in one of the world’s most visited cities, with hotel owners, tour operators and others in the industry hoping the expected drop-off in visitors will not last long.

In December the CEO of AccorHotels said that Europe’s largest hotel group had felt a “real economic impact” from the attacks, with fewer last-minute bookings for the second half of December compared with a year ago and that the effect will probably last three or four months.

France, which has been struggling to revive its economy, is the most-visited country in the world, with Paris hosting 32.2 million visitors last year.

Overall French hotel occupancy rates fell by 0.3 percentage points in France to 65.4 percent in 2015 while RevPAR (revenue per available room) rose 0.1 percent. In Paris alone occupancy rates fell by 3.4 percentage points and RevPAR 3.7 pct in 2015, MKG data also showed. ($1 = 0.9199 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Michel Rose, Greg Mahlich)