French tourism sector faces cancellations over unrest

 Saturday, July 1, 2023

Days of violent protests across France after the fatal police shooting of a teenager have started to impact the country’s tourism sector, with hotels and restaurants facing cancellations while some have also suffered damage in the unrest.

Chef Thierry Marx, president of the main association for hotel and catering industry employers said that since the death of 17-year-old Nahel during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb on Tuesday, their hotel members have suffered a wave of cancellations of reservations in all the territories affected by the damage and clashes.

The French retail federation (FCD) also called for reinforced police security around stores, said managing director Jacques Creyssel.

The Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce said it was ensuring its teams were mobilised to provide the necessary support and technical assistance, particularly in terms of continuing operations, insurance compensation, etc. for traders and managers of affected companies.

Security concerns

Didier Arino, managing director of the Protourisme firm said that tourists who know them well, like the Belgians or the British, who also have problems themselves in their suburbs, will be able to make sense of things.

But in the end, he said it’s as if they were doing a negative publicity campaign worth several tens of millions of euros for destination France.

Violent protests rock France, foreign tourists cancel trip

France deployed 45,000 police officers and some armoured vehicles on the streets on Saturday as riots rocked French cities for a fourth night.

Days of violent protests in France after the fatal police shooting of a teenager have plunged President Emmanuel Macron into the gravest crisis of his leadership since the Yellow Vest protests that started in 2018.

Videos and images on social media show protesters torching vehicles, and buildings and looting stores in several French cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg and Lille as well as Paris.

Fears of cancellations

The riots have forced the cancellation of many events, including two concerts by popular singer Mylene Farmer at the Stade de France planned for Friday and Saturday.

The unrest has also raised concerns abroad, with France hosting the Rugby World Cup in the autumn and then the Paris Olympic Games in summer 2024.

French football team calls for peace

The French national football team joined calls for an end to the violence.

The time of violence must give way to that of mourning, dialogue and reconstruction, the team said in a statement posted on social media by captain and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

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