Eurostar blames recent terrorist attacks for declining rail ticket sales

A Eurostar train sits at St. Pancras railway station in central London.

A Eurostar train sits at St. Pancras railway station in central London.  (AP)

Eurostar, the high speed rail service that operates between London and France, has reported a slump in ticket sales following the Brussels terror attacks.

According to the BBC, 2.2 million people rode Eurostar in the first three months of 2016 compared with 2.3 passengers from the same time last year. Revenues also fell 6 percent in the past year.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic says the decreased demand is likely the result of the coordinated Brussels terrorist attacks that occurred in March.

"People coming from North America and South East Asia, particularly Japan, are fearful of coming to Europe at all. They don't really understand what's going on and would rather go elsewhere altogether," he told the BBC.

He said it could take up to a full year to see growth again but the company is hopeful the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, which starts up in June, will help buoy ticket sales. The company says it expects nearly 500,000 passengers to make the trip to the main host cities in France, including Lille, Paris, Lyon and Marseille, next month.

As for the rest of the world, Petrovic says, "Hopefully next year international visitors will come back."

Eurostar is rolling out a new route between London and Amsterdam at the end of 2017.