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‘Industrial disaster’ warning as Paris tourism nosedives

August 26, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Tourism to Paris has plummeted, with losses put at EUR 750 million (AUD 1.1 billion), following terrorism attacks exacerbated by strikes and floods.

A million fewer visitors arrived between January and June than in the corresponding period in 2015. Japanese visitors are down by half, Russians by over a third and Chinese by about a fifth.

Paris draws 16 million visitors a year, placing it among the worlds prime tourist destinations.

“It’s time to realise that the tourism sector is going through an industrial disaster,” the head of the Paris region tourist board, Frederic Valletoux, said in a statement.

Visitors to the Arc de Triomphe fell more than a third in the first half of 2016 from the same period a year earlier, the board added.

A report by VOA News said the Grand Palais museum had received 43.9% fewer visitors, while the Palace of Versailles outside the city had recorded a fall of almost 20%.

Reuters quoted Georges Panayotis, head of hotel research firm MKG group, saying hotels were already laying off staff “though they’re not saying it”.

The industry was on its knees and needed relief measures and investment, Panayotis said.

Islamic State attacks, aimed at soft, tourism-related targets and unarmed civilians, killed 130 people in Paris last year. More recently, an Islamist gunman drove a 19-tonne truck into crowds of families and tourists celebrating Bastille Day last month in the Riviera city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring 307.

Written by Peter Needham

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