Paris: Already suffering from the impact of last year’s jihadist attacks, tourism in Paris faces a fresh challenge from the recent wave of violent strikes and protests, tourism bosses warned yesterday.
Hotel bookings by Japanese visitors were down 56 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015, while Russians were down by 35 per cent, the city’s tourist board said. Chinese tourists had been a major driver of growth last year — reaching a new record of 1.2 million — but their numbers had also dropped by 13.9 per cent.
France is the world’s most visited country, but tourists have been scared off by the November attacks and the January 2015 killings at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket.
While the atmosphere in Paris had returned to normal, an outburst of social unrest over controversial labour reforms has once again put doubts in tourists’ minds. “The scenes of guerrilla-type action in the middle of Paris, beamed around the world, reinforce the feeling of fear,” the board said.