Paris is one of the most-visited destinations in the world, and this month’s terrorist attack that left at least 129 dead is almost certain to hurt tourism in the city — at least in the immediate future.
The attack was the second in 2015. In January, Islamic terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, killing 10.
“Unlike Charlie Hebdo, there was no specific target in last Friday’s attacks. France in general was the target,” CNBC quoted Vanguelis Panayotis, COO of MKG Group, a Paris-based hospitality research firm, as saying. “Paris will surely see a decline in tourists from countries like Japan who are very sensitive to security issues.”
French authorities are urging tourists to return to the city. Many tourists remain on edge, worried about whether threats are real. The U.S. Department of State today issued a worldwide travel alert.
“In tragic moments that pass over France, culture is more than ever the symbolic place of discovery for oneself and others,” Fox News Channel quoted Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin as saying in a statement earlier this month.
Experts seem to agree. The consensus seems to be cancelling travel plans is giving in to the terrorists.
“I don’t believe any of us should alter our travel plans as they relate to terrorism,” Capt. Robert Bakke, author of “Prayer at Full Throttle,” told The Travel Trolley. “Under no circumstances should we give the terrorists the power to rule over our lives — it is exactly what they want. They want to control our lives with fear. Only when we allow that to happen do the terrorists win.”
If predictions are any indication, people will hit the roads and skies this Thanksgiving holiday. AAA says 46.9 million Americans are expected to travel at least 30 miles this Thanksgiving, 0.6 percent more than the 46.6 million people who traveled last year.
“About safety, I believe this is an isolated incident. Tomorrow Paris will be no more dangerous than it was the day before that terrible Friday the 13th,” author and television personality Rick Steves wrote on his blog. “I also believe that security in Paris and throughout Europe will be heightened in response to this attack. Remember: There’s an important difference between fear and risk.”