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Paris attacks: Outbound tourism from India not affected in long run

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The November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the second in the city, since the Charlie Hebdo shooting, has shaken France in numerous aspects, including tourism. India contributes to a large proportion of tourism in Europe. According to France embassy’s website (ambafrance-in.org), more than 3,00,000 Indian travellers visit France each year. Although, Indians were present in France during the attacks, the French authorities coordinated with the Government of India and travel companies in India to ensure their safe return.

Travel companies across India have witnessed the effects on outbound tourist flow to Europe and their businesses. However, they feel that the events will not impact business in the long term.

While speaking to Express TravelWorld, Manoj Saraf, managing director, Gainwell Travels, said, “There have been cancellations from people travelling to Europe; also the people who are wanting to travel to Europe have postponed their plans. Sales of major airlines have come down by almost 20 per cent. The winter season isn’t the peak period to travel to Europe. I don’t think many people would travel to Europe at this time, and if travellers travel to Europe, the impact will not be very great. By the time summer arrives, I hope everything will settle down. We will probably wait for some time. The impact will be definitely there, but not in the long term.”

Harmandeep Singh Anand, managing director, Jagsons Travels, said, “People have cancelled or postponed their bookings. Even we have received a few cancellations. Indian travellers are choosing Southeast Asian countries as alternate destinations, due to the attacks in Paris, but the impact will not last in the long run.”

“Particularly, the period between mid-April to May sees more tourist activities in Europe. So the impact of the attacks will not be big,” he added.

Karan Anand, head-relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “Indians travel to Europe in large numbers and Indian outbound to Europe has been on the rise and in percentage terms it is in double digits. The unfortunate incidents in Paris will not cloud the judgment of the Indian traveller as Europe continues to be a must-visit destination for Indians. An incident in one part of Europe will not have any long term impact of traffic flow to these destinations. However, people have become more cautious while travelling and we advise them to take necessary precautions.”

“The bookings for Europe are done much before in advance and we have not experienced any cancellations so far. All our Europe tours are going as per the schedule. We are grateful to our customers who are showing faith on us and we are committed to provide them the best of travel experience,” added Anand.

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