Paris looks not so romantic as usual, confirm its residents, meaning the protests of the ‘yellow vests’. As The Local France understood, French capital’s lustre is not so bright this Christmas season, too many violent protests made Paris unattractive for the tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, weekend’s protests have decimated the welcoming image of Paris and France.
The scenes of violence on the Champs-Elysees that were broadcast around the world this weekend have already started to have an effect on tourism in Paris. Traditionally, the first weekend in December marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in French capital, but not this year. Thousands of tourists from around the world aren’t flocking to the most romantic city of the planet to make their festive purchases.
The centre of Paris affected with the protests: the destruction is evident, six buildings were set alight, dozens of restaurants and shops and even the Arc de Triomphe sacked and pillaged and over 100 cars burned has led many to question whether they should cancel their visit to the old European city.
Last week, the protests quickly spread from Place de L’Etoile down the avenues where people were smashing and burning cars, and pillaging banks, shops and restaurants is unlikely to fill anyone planning a trip to Paris with confidence. In other words, those tourists who scheduled their Christmas reservations in Paris preferred not to go there. And the effects are already being felt.
Tourists cancel their Paris reservations
What worries hoteliers are cancellations and early departures of tourists, they are down by about 15 percent in the hotel sector. The tourists like to come to Paris for New Year’s eve and rented an apartment a block from the Arc. Not exactly sure if they’re going now.
Roland Heguy of the CAT tourism federation also warned that this Christmas season was “at risk, if not already lost.” In fact, France had been on track for a banner tourism year, he added, recovering from the slump which followed the jihadist attacks of 2015.
The local residents say that for starters, nobody in Paris spends much time on the Champs-Élysées. The problems were highly concentrated in a small area. Montmartre was far away & calm and plenty of other fun areas were fine. In other words, it’s easy to avoid the problem areas in Paris.