Tourism in Paris
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Paris is the capital of France (Most visited country in the world). It is the largest country in Europe with approximately 65million inhabitants. Founded about 2000years ago, Paris is a modern and vibrant city. It is called the ‘City of Lights’. Paris is the shopping and fashion capital of the world, with Channel, Dior, Vuitton, Yves Saint-Laurent among many other top French fashion brands. The French tradition of good food still prevails in most restaurants across the city. All of this turns Paris into a unique tourist city. This explains why Paris is the most visited city in the world. With about 42 million tourists per year, Paris is the third most visited city in the world after Orlando and New York City, and the first by international visitors (with about 17 million). The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions include Notre Dame de Paris, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Pompidou Centre, Musée d’Orsay, Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower is unquestionably Paris’s most popular attraction. What was originally meant to be a temporary fixture built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 has since become the symbol of Paris.
Each year round about 70million tourists visit Paris.
The top attractions being:
1. Disneyland – 15million
2. Notre Dame Cathedral – 13.6m
3. Sacre Coeur – 10.5m
4. Eiffel Tower – 7m
We see that Europe has been leading in the number of international tourists since 1950. Major proportion of this statistic has been provided by France. There was not much travel and tourism during the 1950’s because due to lack of technology and travel options and many other such reasons. Travel technology improved and we can see that by the mid 1960-1970’s there was a sudden explosion of international tourist arrivals. France accounted for major proportion of international tourists. France today is the most visited country in the world and Paris which is its capital is the most visited city in the world. Awareness about tourism spread in the 1980-1990’s and there was a boost in tourism all over the world. Many reasons which are explained down lead to this rapid boost of the tourism industry in the world.
Why has tourism increased in Paris?
Tourism is one of the world greatest growth industries. It is growing because: 1. Transport And Infrastructure – Getting to Paris has become easier. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle-has increased capacity 20% since 2006–already operates four runways unlike many other countries where the average is two runways. Due to this major expansion tourism is going to rise by 75% to 100% in the next 20 years. People have now started to have at least one car. Due to this transport by car has been promoted throughout Europe. People can take their cars and drive throughout Europe. This has been facilitated by the EU. They have built an EU tunnel connecting UK to France. People in UK now prefer to go for vacations to Paris and other cities around France since it is the closest country and is one of the best destinations for a holiday. Travel costs have decreased a great deal and more routes and options are available for people around the world to fly into this city. Tourist services have improved drastically. The government of France is taking major steps to boost tourism.
They are building new airports, highways and subways to make it easier for tourists to travel. Huge interest is being taken into the preservation of tourist spots and sites. As a matter of fact in 2007 France has spent more than a couple of billion US dollars for promoting tourism. 2. Social Reasons – People have much more leisure time now that in the past. In the 1950s, working population had only one week’s holiday or less each year.- employees now get more paid holiday than they used to. Within the European Union, paid holidays are a right and an annual minimum of 4 weeks (including Bank Holidays) is a right for every worker. This means that people are more likely to have the time and money to go on holiday. It also means that many families are able to take more than one holiday each year. In addition, modern houses have lots of time-saving devices – e.g. washing machines, dishwashers- which means that people have more time at weekends to take short breaks. Most families now a days have two earners which adds to the disposable income.
Families now usually have one child instead of two and would often want to travel because the economic burden of raising two children is not there. People are retiring earlier, giving them more time to travel. There are people who save money all their lives just to travel around the world after they retire. Even after they retire they are given pensions and other grants. 3. Economic Reasons – In general, people are much wealthier now that they have been in the past. This means they have more disposable income to spend on luxuries such as holidays. Salaries of people all over the world has become very high. 4. Media – There has been much more advertising of holiday destinations in recent years. This is sometimes direct (e.g. on websites, brochures) and sometimes indirect (e.g. holiday programs on the TV; showing destinations in films or on TV programs encourages people to visit them). Travel companies have started to advertise the various tours they are offering. One such example is THOMAS COOK. We daily see advertisements from their company trying to promote various offers they are providing for tours to various countries all around the world.
Relation to Butler’s Model
Exploration – The exploration stage of Paris was during the mid-20th Century. There was no development prior to this. At this point of time limited number of businesses existed and all the facilities of the state were utilized by the locals. There was only a small number of adventure tourists who tried to discover various places. The government of France till the 1960’s did not know the importance that tourism played in the economy. There was not much infrastructure in those days. Involvement – Government took great interest in promoting tourism. The local people in the area became aware of the importance of tourism and started providing facilities for tourists. Businesses grew in number. This period was in the 1960-1970 when tourism all over the world was increasing at a steep rate.
Development – Infrastructure, commercial and recreational facilities have improved a great deal. This was the time when The Disneyland Paris was built. 1972 marked an immense development of tourism in Paris. The construction of this place attracted millions of tourists. It saw more than a couple of hundred hotels being built all over the place. The Eiffel Tower became known to the world in 1976. It became a monument and suddenly shot up to fame. Consolidation – Paris is presently in its consolidation stage. Although it is the most visited city in the world the number of tourists that are visiting the area is stabilizing. In 2007 was 70.4million and in 2008 was 70.5million. This statistic shows us that Paris has now reached a stage where there is minimal increase in the number of tourists that visit each and every year. This will lead to the stagnation period after a few decades.
Positive Effects of Tourism on Paris
1. It has created job opportunities for the local people. It helps decrease the unemployment rate and increase local income. Tourism in France has led to approximately 1million direct jobs for the locals. 2. Improves the overall economy of the country. As a matter of fact France has earned 84.7 billion US $ in 2009 through tourism. Tourism in France accounts for 6% of the country’s total income. 3. People from all over the world visit this city. It makes the atmosphere cosmopolitan. People from different cultures get to know about the French culture, its food and lifestyle and many other things. The locals in Paris get to interact with tourists and get to know about the tourist’s culture and lifestyle. 4. Improved Infrastructure. The government will want to improve facilities for tourists and hence as a whole it leads to the development of infrastructure of the city. The locals will also be able to avail these improvements. Negative Impacts of Tourism on Paris
1. The cost of improving infrastructure and facilities for tourist falls on the government and hence they neglect other issues in the city and mainly focus on improving standards for tourists 2. Paris is a metropolitan city. The increasing number of tourists in Paris is leading to congestion and traffic problems. The increasing number of tourists is putting pressure on the usual working of the city. Mainly pollution increases. 3. Tourism poses a threat to a region’s natural and cultural resources, such as water supply, beaches, coral reefs and heritage sites, through overuse. It also causes increased pollution through traffic emissions, littering, increased sewage production and noise. Conclusion
Founded more than 2000 years ago, Paris is a modern and vibrant city with significant commercial, cultural, academic, scientific, administrative, business activity. This city shot to fame mainly because of the Eiffel Tower and Euro Disney. When I visited this city I found it the most exciting city. I would have never thought about what advantages tourism would have and what disadvantages would it have. In this write up you would have learned about the very start of tourism to what it is now. Hence I would like to conclude by saying that tourism is a double-edged sword.
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