‘I love Paris’ may soon be passe for Chinese tourists



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Sunday 31 March 2013

Last update 2 April 2013 11:45 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Mass muggings and attacks on Chinese tourists in Paris have spawned alarm and warnings of a decline in the number of free-spending visitors from the Asian giant who swarm to France.
More than one million Chinese visitors come every year to France, a country which for them epitomises luxury, romance and quality products.
But that may very well change, said one expert, citing a slew of recent attacks which he says takes the sheen off the “City of Lights” for Chinese visitors.
“This has become a scourge. Since the past year, we have been seeing attacks almost every day,” said Jean-Francois Zhou, the head of Ansel Travel, which specializes in tours to and from China.
On March 20, a group of 23 Chinese visitors were robbed in a restaurant shortly after they landed in Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.
Their passports, plane tickets and cash were stolen and the group leader sustained an injury to the face.
“The situation is serious. If these attacks continue, we may have to pay the price,” Zhou told AFP.
He said about 10 Chinese visitors were robbed on one day in October, mainly in the famed Louvre museum, right in the heart of the city.
And in February, “a minibus caught in a traffic jam was attacked, its windows were smashed and hand bags stolen,” he said, adding there was a more recent attack on Chinese nationals at a four-star hotel in Paris.
Li Peng, who is in charge of consular affairs at the Chinese embassy in Paris, said: “There has been an increase in the number of complaints filed over the past year.
“In a week we could have five to six demands for travel documents” to replace stolen passports, Li said.
French Tourism Minister Sylvia Pinel has pledged that “everything will be done to find the perpetrators” of the latest mass mugging, and underscored “the determination of the French government to ensure the security of tourists in France.”
Zhou, the travel agency boss, said the Chinese were targeted as they were big spenders, adding: “Some of them carry up to 20,000 euros ($ 25,000) for shopping.”
The latest incident has fueled concern and some anti-French feeling on China’s talkative social media scene, but several Chinese travel agencies declined to comment to AFP on the possible consequences.
One municipal travel committee in China’s Jiangsu province urged travelers to take precautions.
“Chinese tourists who travel abroad are recommended to take less cash, never show off money or valuables, never talk to strangers in public places or scenic spots, always keep an eye on personal belongings,” it said on its weibo account, a Chinese website similar to Twitter.
They should “take proper care of valuable items including passports” and “avoid going outside alone at night or in any remote places,” it added.
Many Chinese Internet users reacted angrily to the attacks.
One said the incidents “impinge on the esteem and respect of Chinese people,” adding: “We must demand justice.”
Another said: “The French government should give the Chinese people a reasoned explanation, and the criminals should be severely punished.”
But other reactions were more nuanced. The incident “shows the dark side of developed countries, but also highlights that Chinese tourists stand out too much,” said one post on weibo.
“They spend a lot of money, take a lot of cash along with them, they even wear luxury jewellery to flaunt their wealth. It’s better to keep a low profile.”
Renlai Zhu, the head of a Chinese language website on the French capital named YouParis.com, said the situation was being blown out of proportion.
“The phenomena of thefts and aggressions, yes they are growing, but they also exist in Spain and in Rome,” he said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...
A policeman was shot dead by an unknown gunman in Qatif in the Eastern Province on Tuesday night.According to a spokesman of the Eastern Province police, the firing took place at 11:30 p.m. in a suburb called Al-Jishi.The targeted police officer was...
JEDDAH: Jeddah Show, one of the many events of Jeddah Summer Festival 36, is attracting a large number of visitors. The sound-and-light show is being run at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.The show tells the story of the Bri...
JEDDAH: The Riyadh Traffic Department carried out extensive campaigns on the main streets, intersections and squares in the city to boost traffic safety levels and discourage bad driving.During the first 72 hours of the campaign, traffic personnel re...
RIYADH: One of two women infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) died here in Riyadh, while the other patient is being treated at a hospital in Al-Kharj, some 60 km from the capital. Since June 2012, the Ministry of...
AL-AHSA: Approximately 20,000 tons of Al-Ahsa dates are planned to be marketed abroad during the new dates season.Muhammad Ismail, director general of the King Abdullah City for Dates (KACD), said: “The authorities in the city are planning to increas...
JEDDAH: Al-Bagdadiya neighborhood residents in Jeddah are living in a state of worry because of 20 abandoned houses, which serve as hideouts for criminals.Residents said some houses are on the verge of collapse and have turned into shelters for crimi...
JEDDAH: A committee consisting of representatives from the Hail governorate, municipality, health department and the Saudi Food and Drugs Administration (SFDA) has ordered the closure of a restaurant in the city’s industrial area.Twelve people suffer...
The board of the Saudia Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization has announced that mandatory application of the regulations on new tires produced or sold in the Kingdom will commence in November this year.The board explained that the technical...
JEDDAH: The number of people with mental health issues or depression is increasing in Saudi Arabia due to urbanization, marital or relationship problems, and not being able to keep up with rapid progress. A Saudi mother said that her daughter suffers...
JUBAIL: Jubail beaches are expected to receive many tourists during September as a large number of people usually head to the city once the summer gets cooler to enjoy their holiday here.As part of the beach preparations for this season, the Social S...
RIYADH: More than 50 percent of vehicle users in the Kingdom are not satisfied with the after-sales service of auto agencies in the Kingdom.In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to evaluate the performance of automobile...
JEDDAH: The Appeals Court has upheld the verdict issued by a specialized penal court which sentenced Dr. Said bin Zair to four years in prison from the date of his arrest in 1428.According to the ruling, the academician is also banned from traveling...
JEDDAH: Health authorities in the Eastern Province are expected to issue a decision soon against four Saudi nurses accused of “negligence” for an incident which led to the amputation of the hand of a Saudi girl after they tried to insert a needle in...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah municipality has closed down a popular restaurant following the discovery of a rat rummaging through food items.The rat act was captured on video and posted on social media websites. It went viral, prompting the authorities to laun...

Stay Connected

Facebook