Paris has long held the reputation of a premier tourist destination for international travelers. It’s the second most visited city in all of Europe behind London, and for Asian tourists in particular Paris holds a singular regard as the romance and shopping capital of the world.Just under a million Chinese men and women visited Paris last year and spent over a billion euros shopping in the city-more than both the US and Japan. And for a while these numbers were growing rapidly, with a 23% increase in Chinese visitors to France from 2011 to 2012.
Why then are we now seeing a sudden falloff in the number of Asian tourists to Paris?Disappointment, for one. Because of its popularity as a travel destination, Paris is the first experience many Asian tourists have with a Western country, and it can be a rude awakening to the cultural differences between Asia and Europe. Common complaints include the city’s less than pristine streets, dodgy neighborhoods, and occasionally discourteous service.