• France still top tourist destination , 83 m tourists in 2016

    Ramesh Tiwari
    February 14, 2017
    France still top tourist destination , 83 m tourists in 2016

    Paris ( AFP): France attracted between 82.5 million and 83 million foreign visitors last year, maintaining its rank as the world’s top tourist destination despite a series of jihadist attacks, its foreign minister said .

    The figure fell short of the record 85 million who visited in 2015, and Jean-Marc Ayrault warned that “a great deal of work remains to be done to ensure France remains a global destination.”

    “France has suffered as a destination,” Ayrault told a press conference in Biarritz, the southwestern surfing and casino hub.

    “2016 was an exceptional year, with attacks, storms and strikes,” Ayrault added.”There was a definite impact, especially on Japanese tourists.”

    Three years ago, French tourism chiefs set a target of attracting 100 million visitors a year to the country by 2020.

    But France has been repeatedly targeted by jihadists since the January 2015 massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris,

    Tourist numbers in Paris have especially declined since it was targeted in November 2015 when 130 people were killed by gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State group.

    In 2016, a radicalised Tunisian rammed a truck through crowds watching July 14 fireworks on the seafront in the southern city of Nice, killing 86 people.

    Two weeks later, an elderly priest was murdered by two jihadists near Rouen in the north.

    Just last week, a machete-wielding man was shot and wounded when he lunged at soldiers patrolling outside the Louvre in Paris, one of the world’s most visited museums.

    Investigators say they are trying to establish whether the 29-year-old Egyptian had links to radical groups.

    The city of Paris announced plans to erect bulletproof glass walls to protect the Eiffel Tower, considered one of the most vulnerable potential targets for attack.

    Detailed tourism figures will be published in March.

    The only statistics currently available show a 10 percent drop in hotel bookings in Paris in 2016, with Asian visitors down sharply as a result of fears linked to attacks.

    Feb. 13 , 2017

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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