MKG Group COO Vanguélis Panayotis was interviewed by CNN International Richard Quest in 'Quest Means Business', regarding the economic impact on the tourism and hotel industry of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
According to Vanguélis Panayotis, it is difficult to evaluate the long-term downturn of such events on tourism, but in this kind of situation "there is a very quick and sharp drop in tourism before it slowly returns to normal". He told CNN that in the days following the attacks, "the drop was about 30 to 35% for the hotel industry in Paris. This affects long-haul clientèle, in particular visitors from Asia and North America who are much more sensitive to security issues." According to the COO of MKG Group, the decrease is less significant in terms of European visitors.
Vanguélis Panayotis insisted on the significance of upcoming major events towards the recovery of the hotel sector. "On the 30th of November, there is the climate summit in Paris (COP21). We are expecting a lot of delegations - obviously slightly fewer than expected, but it will reinvigorate the industry. Also keep in mind that there are a lot of business travelers coming to Paris," a sector that did not sustain a significant drop compared to leisure travel.
Vanguélis Panayotis also encouraged authorities to support the tourism and hotel sector after the terrorist attacks. He specifically mentioned the eventuality of "tax cuts or savings on the charges to run the hotels in order to get through this very tough period." Another priority is "maintaining a very high level of security, to make everyone feel comfortable going around in Paris." The COO of MKG Group specified that "no tourist sights were attacked. It was the French and the Western way of life that were attacked." Tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower and museums "were safe. They were open 2 or 3 days after the attacks."
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