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First steps to support the hotel industry after the attacks

French tourism and hotel industry professionals are worried about the economic impact that has been harshly evident since the tragedy of November 13, particularly in Paris. While the global response of public authorities is expected, Bpifrance has already announced it will suspend maturity dates for credits of Parisian properties, while the Union des métiers et des industries de l'hôtellerie (UMIH) announced it would implement a support fund.

In a press release expressing its solidarity with the victims and businesses targeted by the attacks, the Union des Métiers et des Industries de l'Hôtellerie reminded its members about the need to "keep hotels, restaurants, bistros, cafés and terraces open". The union asks the profession to stand together, estimating that "our properties are places for meeting, expression and freedom." Close to 1,000 sector professionals will gather in Bordeaux from November 24-26, 2015 for the 63rd convention of the UMIH. Much of the event should be dedicated to the reaction that the sector will have following the attacks, and to the measures necessary to support its recovery. The organization also announced in this press "the sector is creating a support fund for those individuals and families affected by this tragedy." The means of this action are to be explained.

The Banque Publique d'Investissement has has announced its support for "Paris's hotel industry that has been hit hard" by taking the immediate decision to suspend Parisian hoteliers' maturity dates for credits for six months. As initial estimates suggest there will be a significant drop in activity for sector professionals, Bpifrance believes it is necessary to not get in the way of the recovery of the hotel industry and tourism in the Greater Paris Region. According to one spokes person, "all hoteliers in Paris and the outskirts" could be affected by this measure, depending on the drop in arrivals observed. The impact of the attacks on the hotel industry in the rest of the country remains to be determined, but initial data suggests that unlike the period following the attacks on January 7, difficulties for the tourism sector could extend to all French territory, or at least to those areas impacted by international tourism.

As data from MKG Hospitality show, Parisian tourism professionals are already feeling a drop in activity, with significantly large cancellations and early departures for guests. A veritable paralysis for the rest of November is also likely; for the moment it is difficult to know just how much the trend will continue.

In light of this situation, some actors on the sector are announcing original measures: Booking.com confirmed to Synhorcat (Syndicat National des Hôteliers, Restaurateurs, Cafetiers et Traiteurs) that the group would indefinitely stop taking commissions on cancellations or no shows in the days following the November 13 attack in Paris.

Following the cancellation of the Convention of Mayors of France and its postponement top May 2016 for security reasons, some properties have reported more then 50% cancellations of reservations. To this may be added the postponement of the Salon de l'étudiant and the early closing Paris Photo, an event that usually attracts close to 15,000 visitors per annum at the Grand Palais. As the COP21 and year end celebrations draw near, it is clear that tourism and hotel-restaurant professionals are impatient to hear what kind of support they may expect from public authorities, and even more so since performance halls have just seen this type of mechanism implemented on a national scale.
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