Tourism Threatens to Collapse in France

What’s crushing France’s crucial industry?

By Wolf Richter and cross-posted from WOLF STREET

France was the number one visited country in the world with 85 million foreign visitors last year. The Paris region (Ile-de-France) was swamped by 16 million. In Ile-de-France alone, the jobs of half a million people depend on tourism. It’s the region’s largest industry. Tourism accounts for 7% of the French economy and for 13% of the economy of the Ile-de-France.

France hosts the Euro 2016 soccer tournament this year. It will kick off on June 10 and last about a month, with games played around the country. About 2.5 million spectators are expected.

But last November, terrorist attacks killed 130 people in Paris. This followed the January 2015 attacks at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket. The attacks in March this year in Brussels – less than 1.5 hours by train from Paris – reignited the global headlines. And now, after the headlines have finally receded, it’s a tumultuous, three-month bout of occasionally violent labor unrest, whose images have been gracing the media around the world

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