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French Riots Will Hurt Tourism

The riots by the Muslims in Paris are going to have a direct hit on tourism in Paris and throughout France. As the French actions towards the US after 911 affected tourism, the new round of riots will create a negative impression on tourism to France.

Tourism officials have begun to worry that the spiraling violence in France will scare away the hordes of sightseers that the industry relies upon each summer.

“Leisure travel is sure to drop off,” Natalya Hansen of the American Express Travel Group in Englewood Cliffs said Monday. “People don’t want to take a chance. So instead of going to France, they’ll go to Italy. But then you hear that the violence is spreading, and you wonder if people will want to go to Europe at all. And that’s really scary.”

Nevertheless, the rioting – which began Oct. 27 and has spread to 300 towns, destroying schools, churches, shops, businesses and buses – threatens France’s carefully cultivated image as the world’s classiest travel destination.

That image is crucial to France, because tourism is responsible for nearly 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 2 million jobs. The country hosted 75 million tourists last year, and their spending helped offset nearly 10 percent unemployment and sluggish growth.

By Monday, anxious travelers were turning to online chat rooms, wondering whether they should abandon their itineraries. via Bergen.com


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