Protests in Paris are putting a damper on the holiday season.
You’ve booked your flights, found a hotel, planned meals and sightseeing for a long-awaited trip to the City of Lights. You dream of photo ops at the Eiffel Tower, chocolat chaud at Angelina’s and, of course, luxury shopping.
Or, imagine you’re a retailer anticipating the holiday season in a tourist mecca. Year-end financials depend upon this season. Helping others enjoy and give joy, boosts your bottom line, employs locals, and sets you up for another year.
And then, just as the joyeux spirit arrives . . . anti-government protests against increasing fuel taxes (and other matters) take over the streets of Paris. For the fourth consecutive weekend, thousands of protesters in yellow safety vests descended on Paris. Major tourist attractions including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Opera, were shuttered. According to assorted news reports, this past weekend, entire sections of the central part of Paris (and its shopping area) were deserted. Large department stores Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, le Bon Marche and BHV Marais closed for safety and security reasons. Brand conglomerates LVMH and Kering put their stores on lockdown – that means no Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Givenchy, Celine, Gucci, Saint Laurent and a whole lot more.
No matter your position on the protests or politics, the financial fallout is evident. Although estimates of the harm to retail has ranged from hundreds of millions of euros to billions, clearly closing up Paris just before Christmas severely affects the retail and tourism industries.
Have the Paris protests affected your travel and shopping plans?