Tourists return to Paris and Tunisia

Terror attacks “affecting tourism for shorter and shorter periods”
The Moulin Rouge and the Louvre are busy again as Paris enjoys a tourism revival following a sharp decline in visitor numbers due to a string of terror attacks.
Tourists are refusing to give in to fear. The rebound began at the end of last year, and in the first four months of 2017 Paris saw a record 2.6 million foreign arrivals – up 19% year-on-year.
France’s tourism ministry expects a 5% to 6% rise in arrivals this year, to a record 89 million visitors.
Since November 2015, when jihadist shootings and bombings left 130 people dead, terror attacks have become more widespread, also hitting Belgium, the UK and Germany.
This has resulted in “a kind of fatalism” among tourists, according to Josette Sicsic, head of Touriscopie, a company that tracks tourist behaviour. Or as elderly American tourist puts it, “If it’s your time, it’s your time.”
Attacks “are affecting tourism for shorter and shorter periods”, Sicsic says.
Tunisia, meanwhile, recorded 1,527,891 tourist arrivals from January 1 to May 20 – up 46% compared to the same period in 2016.
In a report, the Tunisian National Tourist Office says the visitor increase marks “the start of a recovery in European tourism” for the country.
Tourism from the Maghreb region of north-western Africa “remains predominant”, accounting for 60% of tourists during the period.
But among Tunisia’s traditional European markets the destination boasted a 31.1% overall rise as it welcomed 153,050 French tourists (up 45.1%), followed by 37,909 German visitors and 28,807 Italians. The total number of overnight stays grew 31% from January 1 to April 20, to 714,000.
AFP / TTG

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