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Christmas Market: After the attacks, Tighter Security in Strasbourg

Tighter security for the Strasbourg Christmas market
Tighter security in place for this years Christmas market in 2008

First consequences from the events in Paris in Strasbourg where thousands of visitors are expected for the Christmas …

So far, so good … almost. On the eve of the opening of the Christmas market, hotel and tourism professionals remain confident, even though they are well aware that everything remains to be done.

“There has been no cancellation of the tidal wave that could have been feared in the aftermath of the tragic attacks in Paris,” says Patrice Geny, director of the Strasbourg Tourist Office and its region. “One of our indicators is the number of tour groups that normally runs on the months of November and December around 500 or 600 groups. For now fifty of them has canceled 10%, and for the most part these are school groups. That’s a significant number, but not so disturbing in view of the situation and that may well be caught in the coming days because the supply is usually less than demand, “reassures Patrice Geny.

“Everything remains to be done”

One thing that is also shared between hoteliers. Jean-Philippe Kern, general manager of the Sofitel, also “ambassador” for Strasbourg Accor manages thirty hotels in the city confirms this trend: “For now it provides approximately 10% to 20% turnover down compared to what was planned before the attacks in Paris. But we can still have a good surprise if access restrictions on the Grande Île do not weigh on the enthusiasm of visitors. But the security system set up is very reassuring and we plan to be at full capacity over the next weekends, even though there are still many unknowns and that the coming days are decisive.  But this will remain anyway a good month, “relativized Jean-Philippe Kern.

Confidence in the future

Confidence in the future also displayed by Batorama, the first pay-tourism in Alsace with 784,450 passengers in 2014.  “We had 2,000 cancellations since the terrorist events in Paris.  Following the attacks it was mostly individuals visiting.  There was a wave of school with ministerial prohibitions and now some groups of foreign visitors, “said Reynald Schaich, deputy director of Batorama.  The company that generally attracts more than 24,000 visitors in November and nearly 80,000 in December remains confident of the views held reservations for January and rents also important safety measures in place.

“We receive hundreds of phone calls a day from people who want to have information on the holding of the Christmas market but also its content and many of encouragement” welcomes Patrice Geny entrusting the Office of Tourism see the magic of Christmas operated again.

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