French government discards goal of welcoming 100 million foreign visitors in 2020

Published on : Thursday, October 24, 2019

The French government has discarded its goal of welcoming 100 million foreign visitors in 2020, and blamed the impacts of months of anti-government protests and Britain’s looming exit from the EU.

 

“France still aims to have 100 million foreign tourists… nonetheless the goal has been pushed back, given current circumstances, to 2022,” said the ministry in a budget document posted online.

 

The previous Socialist government set this goal in 2014.

 

France remains the world’s top tourist destination with 89.4 million visitors witnessed last year.

 

But the fierce “yellow vest” protests that erupted last November against President Emmanuel Macron made many tourists cancel their plans of visiting France, as the weekly rallies often turned into violence.

 

In Paris especially, protesters often clashed in running battles with police, with looted and cars set alight on the famed Champs-Elysees avenue and elsewhere.

 

That led the authorities to lock down much of the centre of Paris and other major cities on Saturdays, until the protests died down over the summer.

 

Another factor expected to affect tourism is the weakening of the British pound against the euro as the impact of Brexit is felt across the UK economy.

 

“Indicators for the first months of 2019 suggest a decline in foreign tourism stays during the first half of the year,” said the ministry document.

 

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