Commenter “Hugely Ceebs” points me towards this article:
Tourists from China are avoiding France amid surging violence and crime, a Chinese tourism expert has said, reporting that customers are turning to Russia as a safer destination.
President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said “increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into “one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists”.
Mr. Zhou, a representative for major Chinese travel agency Utour in France, reported a steep decline in visitor numbers from Asia, and said many tourists are now looking to Russia as a less dangerous holiday destination.
I’m going to take that with a pinch of salt. Firstly it’s Breibart; secondly the situation might be being exaggerated; thirdly nobody will go on holiday to Russia instead of Paris.
But that said:
“[Chinese tourists] are robbed in the palace of Versailles, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in front of their hotel, as they leave the coaches … In high season, not a day goes by without tourists being assaulted.”
There is a massive problem with pickpockets, beggars, thieves, scam artists, hawkers, and general criminals around the main tourist areas of Paris, particularly under the Eiffel Tower and the steps leading up to Montmartre outside the Sacré Cœur. I have known a few visitors who have had their bag snatched or pocket picked in these areas, and the perpetrators are many in number and loitering in full display of everyone waiting for an opportunity. I have often wondered why the police don’t clear them out but am told that when they do, they just move onto somewhere else. For whatever reason, probably something to do with fear of being called racist, the authorities don’t clear them out permanently.
But the situation is getting worse and can’t go on forever. It might be that the Chinese tourist agents have received a lot of complaints and they have decided to issue a warning to the French to sort it out or they really will start looking elsewhere. If this is the case then good: it’s high time somebody said something.