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Attack in Paris: in tourism, solidarity precedes psychosis

England reinforces control at its borders


The terrible attack against the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Wednesday January 7th, 2015, generated a wave of worldwide solidarity towards France. Whether it comes from anonymous people or government leaders, messages of support are spreading throughout the planet. A solidarity that seems to take precedence over an eventual psychosis towards our country. While security warnings multiply on the websites of Foreign Affairs Ministries all around the globe and Ile-de-France and Picardie are placed under the Vigipirate “attack altert” plan, tourists don’t seem to give into the panic.



In solidarity, Atout France posted the message “Je suis Charlie” on all of its social networks and large audience both in France and abroad. DR
In solidarity, Atout France posted the message “Je suis Charlie” on all of its social networks and large audience both in France and abroad. DR
After the terrible murder of 12 people at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, Wednesday January 7th 2015, the manhunt to find the suspects continues unabated.

The two suspects of the attack, of which the portraits are featured on the website of the Police Prefecture of Paris, have been spotted in Aisne reveals France 3 Picardie.

In response, Picardie, like all of Ile-de-France, has been placed under the Vigipirate plan at the “Attack Alert” level.

Media outlets, department stores, religious spaces along with transports are benefiting from reinforced protection, announces the French government on its website.

“The Minister of the Interior also sent a telegram to the prefects in all of the country’s departments asking them to take the necessary precautions concerning train stations, spaces of transports, cultural institutions, and a number of public institutions,” according to a statement.

Tourism professionals react

In this state of shock and indignation, witness accounts multiply and voices are raising.

Beyond the “Je suis Charlie” echoed by thousands of people, and seen in the display windows of travel agencies, tourism professionals are speaking out as well.

Jean-Pierre Mas, president of the SNAV reminded that “as travel professionals, we cannot give up, or bow down.

The entire body of tourism professionals condemns this odious crime and renews their fundamental attachment to all freedoms: of speech, writing, drawing, and of traveling."


Hubert Debbasch, CEO of Terre Entière associated himself with “the pain of the victims’ closed ones […] For forty years, the teams of the company Terre Entière has been dedicating their energy and talent towards nourishing an intelligence always more profound on the world through the means of travel, dream, and wonder.


We have had many - and we hope to have many more - audacious initiatives to foster an encounter of cultures and civilizations: trips to better explore spiritual traditions, inter religious encounters for peace in countries where it is absent or threatened, a unique and sustainable commitment in Irak, etc.”

Tourism is mourning

Let’s reiterate that this attack led to the death of at least 12 people - illustrators, journalists, policemen, maintenance experts - and led to 8 wounded, including 4 in a grave emergency state, according to the government.

Amongst them, the economist Bernard Maris, who had participated during the AS Voyages congress in Valmorel, in 2012.

But also Michel Renaud, founder of the “Rendez-vous” of the travel diary, of which the website features a message, “The Rendez-vous is mourning.”

Our thoughts also go out to Véronique Brachet, the wife of Jean Cabut, a.k.a Cabu, the famous illustrator of Charlie Hebdo, who was during some years the Communications Director of the group Air France/KLM.

Foreign Ministers firmly condemn this attack

This attack, related on repeat by the media has gone around the world. In the foreign press as well the victims were honored.

World leaders also expressed their support towards France. Messages that are also on par with the security recommendations in France.

In Spain where the “government firmly condemns this attack,” the minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation reminds "there is currently no region or country in the world that is protected from terrorist acts” and calls its citizens to signal authorities before going abroad.

In Germany, the president, Joachin Gauck, the chancellor Angela Merklen and the minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, condemned “the odious attack that cost the life of at least 12 people.”

The minister also explains to German travelers the deployment of the Vigipirate Plan in France, specifying that control and security procedures have been reinforced in train stations, airports, museums, etc.

The president of the United States also condemned the attack, but no alert can be seen on the website of the United States Department of State in charge of international relations.

In the United Kingdom, security measures at the borders have been reinforced “including in ports and British control checkpoint located on French territory” indicates Reuters press.

These are only preventive measures according to a spokesperson of the British government.

“Paris is not a closed city”

These measures do not keep Paris, nor Ile-de-France, from welcoming travelers, on Thursday January 8 2015, the day after the attack. Quite the contrary.

“Paris is not at all on lockdown, reminds François Navarro, General Director of the Tourism Regional Committee (CRT) of Ile-de-France.

Airports, department stores, museums are running normally.

Of course, the destination is mourning, everybody is shocked, but tourists keep on coming. And Paris, today even more than yesterday, is still seen as a destination of freedom.”


The hundred of host agencies with the CR, set up in Parisian airports, in Eurodisney or even the Galeries Lafayette, have been receiving lots of messages of support and solidarity since yesterday.

“We haven’t sensed any panic in their words,” specifies François Navarro.

The CRT together with Atout France, related the government’s message and their different associated ministries, amongst tourists and their offices abroad.

“Our offices are regularly informed, linked to embassies and consulates, adds Franck Paillard, Communications and Partnerships Director at Atout France.

They respond case by case when they receive requests, by specifying that the level of security in France has been reinforced especially in public spaces (department stores, train stations, airports, museums…) meaning that there is no reason to be worried when coming to France.”

In solidarity, Atout France posted the message “Je suis Charlie” on all of its social networks, press, and general audience, both in France and abroad.

Written by Anaïs BORIOS translated by Joséphine Foucher the 09/01/2015
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