Paris wants travelers to know the city is safe

NEW YORK — Paris wants travelers to know it’s safe and open for business.

The city’s tourism board said the number of visitors in the week after the Nov. 13 terror attacks was 15 percent lower than forecasts.

Now Paris is eager to reassure tourists and encourage them to visit.

Tourism is the number one industry in Paris — it brought in over 21 billion euros in revenue from the nearly 46 million tourists that visited last year. The tourism industry also accounts for 500,000 jobs.

“While it’s too early to have more definitive figures about the effect of the attacks, there’s a real potential to impact the industry,” said François Navarro, the managing director of the Paris Region Tourist Board.

Navarro also said groups from various tourist locations and organizations have met with police to formalize a safety protocol.

“We want people to know Paris is open,” Navarro said. “Museums, shops, everything is open with no exceptions. Paris is safe.”

According to Navarro, there are now three times more police at each major tourist location in the city.

“Paris has such a special place in people’s hearts,” he said. “Our message to tourists is we’re back to business and ready to welcome them.”

Student Universe, a site that offers discounted travel deals to students, said it had received calls from travelers looking to cancel their trips after the attacks.

However, it also noted that its younger demographic of customers is less inclined to “cancel their travel plans as a result of happenings around the world than their parents would be.”

A spokesperson for the company added that some young travelers feel travel is actually safer because of the increase in security and vigilance.

“Others refuse to change their plans, and be terrorized,” she added, which is exactly what the terrorists want.

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