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TOURISM European countries feel effects of terrorist attacks in America



Published: Sun, November 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Shock waves from the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon have reached Europe's shores, bringing a glum fall tourist season. After enjoying one of its busiest summers, Paris is seeing a 20 percent drop in visitors. Not only are few Americans coming, but the world's other big spenders, the Japanese, are also not visiting.

London, barely recovered from last summer's foot-and-mouth disease scare, is witnessing another tourist setback with early statistics showing a 45 percent drop in tourism. Business is reportedly as slow at the Tower of London as it is at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Moreover, nearly 1 million Britons canceled their overseas travel plans after the attacks on the United States.

Italy's not doing much better. Italian hotels are reporting a 22 percent drop of occupancy.

Domestic travel: On the other hand, Europe, like the United States, is seeing an increase in domestic travel as travelers, fearful of hijackings, take to the rails and roads.

It's not certain, however, whether a gradual return of tourists can offset the International Labour Organization's gloomy forecast of the loss of more than 9 million jobs in the world's tourism industry in the aftermath of last month's terrorist attacks.

The United States is expected to suffer most job losses from "a combination of terrorist threat and recession," the ILO warned in a report to a two-day tourist industry conference in Geneva. U.S. job losses, including hotel workers, travel agents and taxi drivers, could reach 3.8 million, the ILO said.




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