Unrest in France leads to tourism sector setbacks

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France’s tourism industry is experiencing a decline due to the ongoing violent protests following the tragic police shooting of a teenager.

Hotels and restaurants are grappling with numerous cancellations, and some establishments have also suffered damages during the unrest.

Thierry Marx, the president of the primary association representing employers in the hotel and catering industry, expressed concerns about the wave of reservation cancellations affecting territories impacted by the clashes.

He noted that “industry professionals were reporting daily incidents of attacks, looting, and destruction, including damage to restaurants and cafes.”

Marx emphasized that “these establishments, often serving as havens and sources of assistance during crisis situations, should not bear the consequences of anger they did not provoke. He condemned these actions and urged authorities to prioritize the safety of those working in the hospitality sector, considering France’s status as the world’s most popular tourist destination.”

Jacques Creyssel, the managing director of the French retail federation (FCD), called for increased police security around stores.

He stated that the riots had led to widespread looting, vandalization, and burning of over a hundred medium and large stores, causing significant financial losses. Creyssel sought action from the economy, interior, and trade ministers to address the situation.

In response to the disturbances, the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce confirmed its commitment to providing support and technical assistance to affected traders and business managers.

They aimed to aid with continuing operations, insurance compensation, and other related matters.

Franck Trouet, the managing director of the GHR organization for independent hotels and restaurants in France, expressed concern about the potential impact on tourism. He warned that the portrayal of Paris in flames and violence by foreign TV networks did not reflect reality but could contribute to a surge in cancellations.

Trouet specifically highlighted the apprehensions of Asian tourists, who prioritize security and may choose to postpone or cancel their trips.

Didier Arino, the managing director of Protourisme, acknowledged that “tourists familiar with France, such as Belgians and British visitors facing their own suburban challenges, might comprehend the situation better.”

However, he stressed that the negative publicity resulting from the ongoing unrest amounted to a multimillion-euro campaign against France as a destination.

The confederation of tobacconists expressed indignation over the looting and destruction of shops, including 91 tobacconists, during the recent clashes.

Jean-Francois Rial, the president of the Paris Tourist Office, voiced concerns about the potential impact on the organization of the Olympic Games. He pointed out that if the situation persisted, especially given that many events would take place in Seine-Saint-Denis, a disadvantaged area in northern Paris, it could significantly complicate the arrangements for the games.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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