One of the biggest benefits that came out of the creation of the European Union was the ability for the peoples of member states to travel back and forth across borders with limited interference. But with the combination of a flood of refugees out of the Middle East, a bombing of a Russian aircraft over Egypt, and last Friday, a horrific planned terror attack in the city of Paris, in less than a month the once open borders of the Eurozone are quickly being shut, and will lead to hundreds of billions in lost revenues due to the sudden slowdown in tourism around the region.
On Nov. 16, airlines and travel agencies within France began cancelling open itineraries for travelers who had booked trips to Paris long before the terror attacks of three days ago, and a number of entertainers such as U2 and the Foo Fighters have also cancelled plans to perform in the city. These moves in France come one day after Russia issued a proclamation banning airlines originating out of Egypt to fly into their cities as consequence for the Russian airliner that was brought down in Egyptian airspace.
It’s tough times ahead for Paris, as one of the most visited cities in the world is facing a slowdown in tourism in the aftermath of the November 13 terrorist attacks. Tourism brought France €150 billion last year, about seven percent of the country’s economy.
Paris had 47 million tourists out of the country’s total 83.5 million visitors in 2014.
On Monday, the Eiffel Tower and many other attractions are still closed until further notice. Disneyland Paris closed for the first time in more than a decade and said it won’t reopen until Wednesday. However, the Louvre Museum is re-opening later on Monday.
Rock bands U2 and the Foo Fighters have cancelled planned concerts in the French capital. The drop in demand is also fuelled by reports that tour operators are cancelling trips to France. Jetair, Sunjet and Thomas Cook airlines have offered to postpone or cancel trips to Paris for Belgian customers with a full refund. – Russia Today
Yet it is not only France, Russia, and Egypt who are expected to be the big losers in the coming months over lost revenues from tourism. In fact, several European, Middle Eastern, and Balkan states have made it clear that they are shuttering their borders in the aftermath of the refugee crisis that is quickly being pointed to as the catalyst for bringing tens, hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of radical Muslims from war torn countries into the West. And to top it off, these unpopular programs are also leading local populations to rise up in revolt, such as what we are seeing in Germany, Hungary, and previously in France itself.
In many parts of the world, chaos and war are increasing to the point where it is now considered unsafe to travel in even the most secure of places. And as we have seen over the past two decades, where even major Western cities such as New York, London, Madrid, and now even Paris are no longer immune to attacks by one or more terrorist elements, the decline in travel and tourism around the world will create tens of billions in budgetary shortfalls to countries already reeling from a coming new recession, and high unemployment that has not recovered since the Credit Crisis of 2008.