Is terrorism winning?

By | Category: Travel news
The Eiffel Tower where visitor numbers are down by 20% compared to 2015

The Eiffel Tower where visitor numbers are down by 20% compared to 2015

Figure just released show that Paris received a million fewer tourists in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same half year in 2015.

The Japanese are the largest spenders per head of cash in the city and they are the nation where the drop has been the most noticeable; down by over 46%. Russian visits are down by 35%, Chinese visits by nearly 20% and the British are down by about 10%.

It is estimated that the city has lost about €750 million in lost revenue although this seems understated. This comes on top of drops in 2015 over 2014. France 24 reports that one Parisian tour guide says that his income has halved. It also noted that another guide has said that the government needs to get serious about security like the Americans did after 9/11 and the British after 7/7.

Can this decline be blamed on terrorist acts, French air traffic control strikes, other transport strikes and the floods that hit Paris and large parts of the rest of France? Tourist officials would like you to think so.

France doesn’t seem to have managed to achieve the bounceback that many expected although there are some signs that France’s security forces are succeeding. On Tuesday it was announced that seven people with links to terrorist networks had been arrested this month. Of those, three are alleged to have planning terrorist attacks.

According to Frédéric Valletoux, head of the Paris region tourist board has said that it is time to set up a relief plan rather than communications campaigns although the city has done just that at Paris -Charles de Gaulle where digital terminals in terminals 2F and 2G went live last weekend and will do so again this coming weekend. The animated images to promote the #madeinparis campaign and invite travellers waiting to board their flight to enter the competition.

And that’s it. Nothing else is planned at the airport after this weekend. The government, the mayor, the tourism authorities all need to persuade the rest of the world that Paris is safe.

Gradually people will forget and return because what overseas visitor doesn’t want to see Paris at least once? At least the bookings in Parisian hotels next month look better than they have for a while.

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