Monday, 20 March 2023

Business News

Travelers to Paris should be prepared for trash piles and protests

Travelers to Paris should be prepared for trash piles and protests

The guests who checked in to Rosewood’s Hotel de Crillon this week were likely visiting Paris for all the city’s enduring draws: The food, the romance, the museums, the fashion. But on Thursday evening, their $2,450-per-night rooms became the doorstep of a massive protest in the adjacent Place de la Concorde filled with thousands of citizens speaking out against the government’s use of a constitutional provision to pass its retirement bill, which failed to gather a majority of representatives in France’s lower house of parliament. 

In response to the reforms planned by President Emmanuel Macron, garbage collectors have been on strike since March 6. Piles of trash are stacking up around Paris, as garbage collectors protest the raising of their industry’s retirement age from 57 to 59. The trash collectors’ walkout is set to run at least through March 20, but could run longer. 

Until this year, last time that protests on this scale affected the city was in late 2018 and early 2019, when Yellow Vests clashed with government forces, sometimes violently, in cities throughout France. Tourism took a clear hit; local transit and hotel companies such as Accor SA saw shares dip, and tourist sites such as the Louvre and Orsay museums shut down for safety.

Thus far, the protests in Paris remain unthreatening to tourists. There’s no indication that travelers should consider cancelling their plans, and the US State Advisory remains at a standard Level 2—the same as virtually every popular tourism destination in Europe or in the Caribbean. There are some signs of rising tensions, however. Police used water cannons on Thursday to disperse the protestors at the Place de la Concorde, which is just across a bridge from France National Assembly.

There’s a lot at stake. In 2022, France’s international tourism spending reached €50 billion ($53.4 billion), surpassing pre-pandemic levels by €1.2 billion, and representing 10% of France’s GDP. France also remains on track to regain its pre-pandemic title as the most-visited country in the world by 2025, according to Global Data. National carrier Air France is also boosting its service to pre-pandemic levels this summer ahead of an anticipated surge in demand and the return of Chinese travelers.

Difficulty Getting Around

But that doesn’t mean that visitors will find Paris unaffected. Some sidewalks in the city have become impassable, full of garbage bags leaking…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Fortune | FORTUNE…