France is waiting when to oppose tourists visiting the country « Khabarhub
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France is waiting when to oppose tourists visiting the country

09 July 2019  

Time taken to read : 3 Minute

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PARIS: Le Figaro newspaper warned of the risk of a similar backlash in Venice, Amsterdam and Barcelona being seen where locals have raised anti-tourist protests or graffiti. The newspaper pointed out that the country has “not yet seen walls with [anti-tourist] graffiti, petitions, demonstrations or referendums to limit the numbers of visitors.” “For now, France hasn’t reached crisis point, but we’re close to it.”

“Tourism is great, but at a certain point you have to stop saying you want to attract ever greater numbers of tourists,” said Pierre-Frédéric Roulot of the Louvre Hotels Group. “If not, you run into a brick wall.” Mr Roulot called for a focus on high-end tourism. “You need a business plan for tourism, to increase tourist spending rather than the number of tourists.”

The growing number of visitors to France reflects the phenomenal expansion of tourism worldwide. The global number of tourists has more than doubled in the past 15 years to exceed 1.3 billion last year, and is forecast to rise to nearly two billion by 2030. France is now struggling to cope with record numbers of visitors. People are forced to queue for hours in sweltering heat at sites such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Château of Versailles, the Mont-Saint-Michel, the Château of Chambord, in the Loire Valley, and the medieval fortress of Carcassonne, in the south west.

Tourists are being urged to make online bookings at least three months in advance to see the sights without the exhausting experience of battling through huge crowds. Many popular attractions are considering introducing a sliding scale of charges to encourage more visits outside peak times. But tour operators are concerned that the system might deter visitors. France is the world’s most popular tourist destination, despite a dip after a string of attacks in 2015 and 2016. Tourism represents nearly 10 per cent of its GDP and supports about three million jobs.

There are fears of Venice-style “over-tourism,” with France expected to receive more than 90 million foreign visitors this year, rising to 100 million by 2020. (Agencies)

Publish Date : 09 July 2019 15:38 PM

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