Tourism

Overtourism: Paris deputy mayor pushes for tour bus ban

The deputy mayor of Paris has said tour buses are “no longer welcome” in the heart of the city, following concerns they’re causing “total anarchy”.

France24 reported the move aims to tackle complaints about “nuissances” caused by mass-tourism, with deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire claiming that “tourists can do what everyone else does and use public transport or switch to environmentally friendly mobility options” instead of buses.

“We no longer want the total anarchy of tourist buses in Paris…. Buses are no longer welcome in the very heart of the city,” Gregoire told local correspondent Le Parisien, as reported by France24.

The problem of overtourism has reportedly not reached the levels of Venice or Barcelona, but Gregoire believes that Parisians are wary of issues caused by a saturation of tourists.

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Tourism boom: Visits to Greater Paris exceeded a record 40 million tourists in 2017. Pundits have predicted that the number of visitors to Paris will only increase.

The deputy mayor emphasised in reports published by France24 and CNN that the city was open to mass-tourism, commenting that the city had taken great leaps in providing public facilities.

He acknowledged that group tours are useful visitors, and said that restrictions on buses could make life more difficult for tour operators and guides in the city; however, he believes they must adapt to use alternative walking or cycling tours.

“Everyone has to adapt their work to the needs of the city,” Gregoire said.

Gregoire also raised concerns over increased housing costs, which he partly blamed on Airbnb; he also claimed that crime rates in Paris were low compared to other large cities around the world, as reported by CNN.

According to Paris (the official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau), visits to Greater Paris exceeded a record 40 million tourists, with 23 million hotel arrivals in 2017, an increase of 11 per cent on 2016.

The French capital recently announced that it will phase out its iconic paper metro tickets after 120 years in circulation.

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