by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph.D
Every year, we are repeated France is the number one destination of tourists in the world, except last year when it was America during the ending mandate of President Obama.
Paris particularly lost tourists, including rich ones for mansions.
Several years ago, there was a study to understand why the French attractiveness is seeming to decline, especially Paris which was counting so much till now for the very high number of visits.
As a matter of fact, this has got terrific effects on hotels, restaurants, shops and leisure attractions, representing billions of Euros.
About that, it has to be recalled that the industry of tourism is counting for around 7% of our GDP.
So losses or shortfalls should be considered, more carefully than it seems to be.
Imagine a minute, the meaning of a reduction of this figure to only 4 or 3.5% for instance : it would be called a "Contraction" or a "'Shrinking" in economics !
And it's better to be cautious in those troubled and chaotic times, when Standard and Poor's, Fitch ratings, Moody's, or Dagong, the new agency in the same field are watching the evolution of events.
In Paris, the causes of such a desinterest or disaffection can be various : fear of terrorism, aggressions, pickpockets, risk of paying twice or twice as much for the same thing, disorienting strikes, unpoliteness, coldness, lack of empathy, malicious humor, filth, high pollution with micro-particles, and lack of a basic civil behaviour to... quote the main ones.
Sometimes another observation is made about Paris, which is disappointing people in search of a romantic capital, and who discover with sadness and frustration it is not so much.
If you add to this, that some people have got the absurd idea to demolish "Sacré Cœur" in Montmartre...to honour "Communards" who didn't need any "Father of the World", you can guess that there could be a real problem for the future, if not the present.
Symbolically, "Sacré Cœur" was erected to celebrate the Godly protection on France and Paris, after the defeat of 1871, in the French-Prussian war.
And every year, several million people are visiting this beautiful basilica.
Let's conclude on a positive mark, as people are normally wise enough to know what is in their interest !
Entering America being far more complicated since last January, an effort could be made in France and in Paris as well, to find new ways for welcoming nicely people.
France could rebecome n°1 for tourism. And for that purpose, a policy of "good surprises" should be encouraged and supported.
Parisians can do it, if they think twice about Paris' historical importance in matter of paradigm, and try to show what is agreable here, and why our way of life has sometimes been chosen by filmstars.
So then Paris can stay Paris, and think over its renovated brilliance over the world.
Pallas Athena is ready to help with her owl - if she doesn't undergo rebuffs - through the "Palladium" : her powerful and radiant statue brought back from Roma after Troy, and said to be in the bedrock of Notre-Dame de Paris !