Tourism chiefs want special police units in Paris hot spots

Some of the top dogs in the Paris tourism industry have called on police to step up their game in an effort to attract tourists back to France.

Tourism chiefs want special police units in Paris hot spots
Police talk to tourists at the Palace of Versailles in Paris. Photo: AFP
The Alliance 46.2 firm, which represents groups that rely on income from tourists, wrote an open letter on Tuesday calling for more police support at tourist zones in Paris.
Specifically, the group wants a special police force in the capital that would fight criminals who target tourists.  
This comes after the robbery of US megastar Kim Kardashian, who lost €9 million in jewels to thieves in Paris over the weekend. 
Photo: AFP
The tourist group called for a “specific organization in Paris and its suburbs that would allow police to keep an eye on the petty criminals who poison the lives of tourists,” it said. 
And it's not just the wealthy tourists who are picked on, with the group noting that Chinese tourists who typically carry around a lot of cash have been targeted by thieves in recent times too. 
It's presumed that the group expects an increased police presence would also help to allay tourists' fears given the terror attacks that have rocked Paris and Nice in the last year, leaving hundreds dead. 
The group added that such a move shouldn't be considered “out of the ordinary” given that there are 66 million people living in France but 84 million tourists each year. 
And the group warned that now was the time to act, predicting a 5-percent drop in tourist figures in 2017 and the potential loss of 30,000 jobs with it. 
“The image of France has deeply deteriorated, and it's likely that 2017 will still feel the impact. The recovery may therefore be long.”
Alliance 46.2 brings together many of the leading tourism groups, including Accor Hotels, Disneyland Paris, SNCF, and Galeries Lafayette. 
France's tourism sector is worth around 8 percent of the country's GDP and provides jobs for around 2 million people. 

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