French tourism industry challenged due to Coronavirus outbreak

Published on : Tuesday, February 25, 2020

 Officials stated that the Paris hotels, restaurants and retailers  are being deprived of big-spending Chinese visitors  due to the new coronavirus. The French tourism industry is already facing haedwinds from homegrown protests and Brexit and the airline forecast for now has suggested a 60 percent drop in Chinese visitors for February, March and April as compared to the same period last year.



Valerie Pecresse, president of the Ile-de-France region that encompasses the French capital said while presenting the 2019 tourism figures for the region that the Asian clients are absolutely crucial for them.



Last year around 950,000 Chinese visited Paris which made them the fifth-largest source of tourists by nationality as per the CRT regional tourism committee.



Overall they were the second-biggest spenders and shelled out one billion euros on hotel rooms, restaurants, museums and shopping visits.



There has been a surge in cancellations by the Chinese clients which the GNC hotels association already warned. This was especially by tour groups whose cancellation rates reached 80 percent in January and nearly 100 percent for February.


The GNC hotels association has already warned of a surge in cancellations by Chinese clients, especially by tour groups, whose cancellation rates reached 80 percent in January and nearly 100 percent for February.



The current virus scare to the SRAS outbreak was compared by Pecresse which had a strong impact on Asian tourist travel having 300,000 fewer visitors in 2003 from 2002.



She said that if an epidemic is declared in other Asian countries or in Europe the situation will get even  more alarming.


In 2019, Paris and its surroundings region chalked up 50 million visitors which was slightly more than in 2018. The CRT said that the overall spending was stable at nearly 22 billion euros.



The protests in France, the weaker economic climate in Europe and global trade tensions dissuaded some groups notably from Britain, China and the Middle East.

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