France, the most-visited country in the world, has launched a campaign to court tourists who might be wary of visiting after Islamist gunmen terrorized Paris last week and killed 12 people during an attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Tourism officials will travel to the United Kingdom, Los Angeles, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo starting in February to promote tourism to France, Francois Navarro, managing director of the Comite Regional du Tourisme Paris Ile-de-France, told the Daily Mail.
The campaign was announced days after the French government deployed 10,000 soldiers and 5,000 more police officers earlier this week to ensure security at all major tourist spots in Paris, including monuments, museums, parks and stores, according to the Daily Mail. “Given the importance of this event, we told ourselves that this was the priority – that this was what was really needed,” Navarro said.
Many tourists are mulling whether to continue planned trips to Paris or book new vacations to France after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which saw the U.S. release a worldwide caution travel alert Friday. In one advice column in The Independent, a reader asked what she should do about her plans to visit Paris and the country’s Disneyland park with her family. The advice column told the woman that there “should be no effect on your trip beyond tighter security searches.” It said travel companies didn’t expect any disruptions from the terror attacks, either.
France is a major destination for Americans. According to a National Travel and Tourism Office report, the country accounted for 19.9 percent of American travel in 2012. More people from around the world visited the country than they did the United States in 2013.