Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, France’s foreign minister and an American cinema luminary pushed back at U.S. President Donald Trump for insulting the City of Light in a speech, by correctly noting how tourism has taken a dive because of all the Muslim migrant terrorism, crime, and rape. (Photos below are from Paris in the past year)
AP Trump evoked his friend Jim, in an address at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Jim used to be a regular visitor to Paris, Trump said, but hasn’t made the trip in four or five years because “Paris is no longer Paris.”
Terrifying video shows ‘woman tourist’ in Paris viciously attacked by marauding Muslim youths in city deserted by police despite ‘state of emergency’ and Euros rampage
A young woman screamed helplessly as she was set upon by a violent gang in the centre of tourist Paris today. She was repeatedly punched and kicked in the head and upper body as around 15 mainly men surrounded her, knocking her to the ground. The terrifying attack, which was captured on video, took place within sight of Notre Dame Cathedral, and less than half-a-mile from the Louvre museum. ‘Gangs of immigrant youths attack and steal from anyone they want. Paris is no longer a safe tourist city – it’s like a warzone.’
Hidalgo tweeted a photo of herself alongside Mickey Mouse and Minnie and said: “To @readDonaldTrump and his friend Jim, in @LaTour Effel we celebrate the dynamism and spirit of openness of Paris with Mickey and Minnie.”
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) February 24, 2017
In another tweet, with the hashtag #Donald&Jim, Hidalgo said American tourist reservations are up 30 percent in 2017 so far compared to last year.
Following a wave of Muslim terrorist attacks that hit France over the last 18 months, French tourism suffered the effects if these events at full force. The government announced that the number of tourists in the country has fallen by 7% since January 2016. While all of France is affected by the drop in tourist numbers, Ile-de-France and Paris have been hit particularly hard. The tourism sector in Ile-de-France has lost a billion Euros in sales since January, according to a report of the Regional Tourism Committee (RTC), published recently.
The Paris tourism industry is wondering what hit it. The city has seen an 11 percent drop in visitors since January compared to the same period last year, resulting in estimated losses of €460 million. The main knock to Paris’s popularity can hardly have escaped anyone. Last November’s horrific attacks on Paris, which left 130 Parisians and seven attackers dead, have shaken the world. Coming as they did on the heels of attacks in January 2015 on the offices of magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket, the November attacks may have had an especially deterrent effect on visitors because of the types places that were targeted.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault offered his own proof that Americans like not just Paris but all of France: “3.5 million Americans visited France in 2016,” he tweeted. “They will always be welcome.”
Terrorism fears cost Paris €750 million in lost tourism revenue in the first half of the year, the region’s tourist board said. One million fewer people visited the French capital and neighboring areas between January and June 2016 than in the same period last year, the tourist board noted, in spite of a short-term boost during the Euro football cup in June.
George Clooney used the red carpet to speak up for Paris as he headed into the awards ceremony for this year’s Cesar, the French version of the Oscar, where he received a “Cesar d’honneur” for his work.
“Yes, no one wants to go to Paris anymore because it’s horrible here, apparently,” he said as he entered the theater.
“The scenes of guerrilla-type action in central Paris, beamed around the world, reinforce the feeling of fear and misunderstanding from visitors in an already angst-filled climate.” Hotel bookings for June through August have plunged 20% to 50% year-over-year, Evelyne Maes, head of the UMIH-Paris-Ile de France hotel federation, told Reuters.
Hotel bookings by Japanese tourists – who’re somewhat squeamish about tumults – collapsed by 56% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to a statement by the tourism board of Paris on Monday.
Hotel bookings by Russians plunged 35%.
Hotel bookings by Chinese tourists, on whom all hopes had been pinned, the biggest growth factor in the industry, with a record 1.2 million showing up in Paris last year – well, they fell 14%
“We have some things to work on in the United States,” he said, without ever naming Trump. In a veiled illusion to France far-right presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, Clooney added, “I think you guys have some of the same issues here so … good luck.”
Trump hammered France in his speech. “Take a look at what’s happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris,” the president said in an apparent reference to last year’s Bastille Day attack in Nice and the 2015 Paris attacks.
For the past two years Parisian hotels have halved their occupancy. And tourists are not returning either. All thanks to Muslims. Before the biggest Islamic tidal wave in 2014 visitors to Paris spent 17 billion dollars (13.58 billion Euros), the third highest sum globally after London and New York. Not anymore.
According to the UK’s Telegraph the Muslim terror attack on Paris cost them an estimated £660 million ($804 million). Analysts told Reuters that the effect on Europe’s €500billion (£330bn) tourism industry could be anything between €800million and €1billion in losses. Hotel revenues in Paris are down to 40 per cent from 2014’s levels, while restaurant income fell a similar margin. Flight bookings to Paris fell by 27 per cent in the week following the attacks, costing Air France KLM €50million (£33m). Traveller data analysts ForwardKeys reported that bookings for Nice decreased by 57 per cent following the attack there while reservations for France as a whole were down another 20 per cent.
He said Jim used to visit Paris each summer. “It was automatic … He wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
“Now he doesn’t even think in terms of going there. Take a look at what’s happening to our world folks and we have to be smart. We have to be smart. We can’t let it happen to us,” Trump said.