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Chinese tourists shun Paris because of rising violence and crime

Chinese tourists are avoiding France because of a rise in violence and crime, a Chinese tourism expert says.

Published: January 21, 2017, 8:34 am

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    Paris

    His customers believe Russia is a far safer destination.

    President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, (ACAVF) Jean-François Zhou, told Le Parisien “increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into “one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists”.

    Zhou, a representative for major Chinese travel agency Utour in France, has noted a steep decline in visitors from Asia, because many Chinese tourists are assaulted daily in Paris.

    The Asian visitors believe Russia, Spain or Italy are now less dangerous holiday destinations.

    He also pointed out that there had been no organised campaign to dissuade Chinese visitors, but as a result of sharing their harrowing experiences while visiting the French capital on social media, future visitors have decided to stay away.

    “I saw an 80-year-old man seriously injured because he was trying to resist thieves. Women are pushed, and when they fall, their handbags are stolen with all their papers … This has created a panic on Chinese social networks. The Chinese have begun to turn away from France since last year,” Zhou explained.

    “For a number of Chinese tourists, the dream of visiting France and Paris has turned into a nightmare.

    “[Chinese tourists] are robbed in the palace of Versailles, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in front of their hotel, as they leave the coaches … In high season, not a day goes by without tourists being assaulted.”

    Zhou says Paris now ranks “number one in Europe in terms of the upsurge in delinquency”.

    Paris’s regional tourism office last year reported a sharp downturn in visitors to the city, attributing the decline to terror fears, as more than 200 people have been killed in Islamic terror in France since 2015.

    karin@praag.org

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