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France

Record losses for Disneyland Paris after attacks

media File photo of Disneyland Paris AFP

Euro Disney, which owns Disneyland Paris, has posted record annual losses in the wake of the jihadist attacks on Paris which weighed heavily on tourist bookings. The news comes as the French govenrment has just announced measures to try to woo back visitors.

During its financial year, which ended in September, group turnover fell 6.91 percent to 1.27 billion euros following a 10 percent drop in visitor numbers, a statement said.

"Disneyland Paris had an exceptionally challenging year. We have been impacted by various external factors that have significantly affected the tourism business in the Paris region," said Euro Disney president Catherine Powell in the statement.

"In this adverse environment, revenue decreased 7 percent. This, together with the increase in costs driven by our future growth strategy of continually improving the guest experience plus the costs of additional security measures, resulted in a significant decrease in our operating performance for the fiscal year."

Over the period, the group registered a net loss attributable to shareholders of 705 million euros, compared with 84.2 million the previous year. Overall net loss stood at 858 million euros for the year.

Paris fights to woo back tourists

As France prepares to mark the year anniversary of the deadly attacks on the French capital which killed 130 people, the City of Light is struggling to restore its lustre as fearful tourists stay away in droves. In the Paris area alone, tourism revenue is expected to plunge by 1.5 billion euros this year.

"We haven't recovered," the tourism chief for the Paris region, Frederic Valletoux, told AFP. "The impact is lasting and completely unprecedented.... Many small businesses are on their knees."

France's Socialist government on Monday unveiled a 42-million-euro plan to boost security in tourist areas, on top of 10 million already earmarked for promotional efforts.

"We must say it clearly," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. "Tourism in France is going through a difficult period."

The new measures will tighten security at prime tourist magnets such as the Louvre, the world's most visited museum, which saw a 20 percent drop in visitors in the past year.

- with AFP

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