Irish tourists to Nice concerned but unlikely to cancel

‘If we cancelled, terrorism wins. Who wants that?’ Irish react to Bastille Day attack

Handout photo issued by Alec and Jo Bates of the scene in Nice, France, the day after the terror attack which claimed the lives of at least 84 people. Photograph: Alec and Jo Bates/PA Wire

Irish people with plans to travel to France in the weeks ahead have expressed concern about their safety although most of those with bookings who made contact with The Irish Times via social media remained defiant in the face of the latest terrorist atrocity.

Tour operators have also said there has been no surge in bookings being cancelled either for this year or next and in the absence of any official warnings against travelling to France, airlines are carrying on as normal.

The chief executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association Pat Dawson said his members had not reported cancellations in any significant numbers today although he said it was probably still too early to say what the long-term impact on travel to France would be.

He said there were 187 flights from Ireland to France each week, something which emphasised how popular France is as a destination for Irish people. "I can understand why some people would be reluctant to travel to Nice now and not just because of security fears," he said.


“ It just such an appalling act and I can understand why people would be reluctant to even go out for a glass of wine and to enjoy themselves amidst all the tragedy.”

However, he said the sense he was getting from customers and fellow travel agents was that people were defiant and unwilling to let terrorism win. He pointed out that while airlines are under no obligation to allow people change flights in such circumstances most are flexible at times like this.

"We are heading to France in the morning for two weeks," said David Behan from Kilkenny. "If we cancelled, terrorism wins. Who wants that?"

Derek Ryan was of the same view. "My family are going to Nice on Tuesday," he said. "You have to get on with things or they win."

Some people did cancel trips, however. One of them was Áine Ní Bhreisleáin from Gweedore.

“A group of four of us were due to fly to Nice on Friday evening but an hour or so after we heard about the attack we decided to cancel. We did so because of fears that something else might happen but also because we did not feel it appropriate to be on holidays there so soon after something terrible like this happened. “

She said she did not wish to show any disrespect to the people of Nice. “Now it is too soon after the tragedy but we will definitely go back another time. It is a really wonderful place.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor