Does France really want British tourists?


(Jane Williamson) #1

We were horrified to see the queues on the A and M20 of traffic waiting up twelve hours to reach Dover.

The hold up was caused by the increased security to enter France and the abysmal failure of the French authorities to man the booths.

School holidays occur at the same time every year, so this should have been foreseen.

This is just another hard knock we have to take, especially those of us who bring our pensions over from UK.

I have written to the British Ambassador to take up these points with the Ministry of the Interior, as it seems that although tourism is down 22 per cent in Paris, they just don't get what it takes to welcome people to your country.

Gite owners are looked down upon by the hotel trade here and we may have the edge for the first time in rural tourism as people stay away from large cities.The poor exchange rate makes it difficult anyway without this latest fiasco.

What do you all think?


(Barbara Deane) #2

We should form an association!

And stimulate tourism.

I am finding this summer my best yet.....but I am niether complaisant or selfish

and happy to work with others for the good of tourism and for the

challenge.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #3

Very quick off the mark Jane and you've done the right thing....Bad experiences like spending 12 hours or more in the sweltering heat with no facilities would make anyone think twice before doing it again...


(Graham Lees) #4

Well, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

France is in lockdown over terrorist acts performed by extremists entering the Country legally by all accouts, and people complain about the extra security measures!

Beggars belief IMHO.

After the twin towers atrocity in NY, I had occasion to visit the States via Boston and can well recall the massive queues at immigration in the arrivals hall. Any sensible person could see that such measures, whlst inconvenient, were essential to ensure the safety of everyone and my trip to America whent without hitch or further incident for which I, and my family, are extremely grateful.

If you have anyone to blame, blame the extremists not hard pressed security officials who place themselves in danger every day to ensure our safety.


(Jane Williamson) #5

Barbara, we are having a good summer here as well. Being on the eastern side of France the majority of our guests are Belgian and Dutch. We have four weeks booked by Brits, one of which started yesterday. Fortunately they were already in France so were not caught up in the debacle.

I can only imagine that if we formed an association to stimulate tourism to British owned tourism businesses we would find ourselves the target of the French hotel lobby.


(Jane Williamson) #6

Exactly that Hilary Jane. A knee jerk reaction with no regard to the difference between a land or sea border.

Our daughter lives in Munich so violent death is very much in our minds. I heard that the British government was offering help with regard to the security situation. Let' s hope that the French take them up and learn to integrate their intelligence services.

Mind you I am not expecting much from the British Embassy either, as they were worse than useless the last time I asked for their help. My problem ended up as the subject for cross border talks within the EU, but the reaction from the Embassy was that they didn't take up individual cases!


(Jane Williamson) #7

Graham, you seem to have misunderstood the point of my remarks. It is not that I do not recognise the need for extra security, but only operating one booth on the night that British schools closed for the summer was total folly.

Surely, it cannot be too difficult to recognise that at the height of the tourist season you need more staff!

I u derstand that the British Border staff are having to help out now.


(Graham Lees) #8

So tell me. How does:

This is just another hard knock we have to take, especially those of us who bring our pensions over from UK.

fit in with the subject matter of your thread other than it just being a rant?


(Jane Williamson) #9

Graham, because it is all part of our income. We are taking a knock on the exchange rate and if tourism is going to be affected by the thought of being stuck in your car for twelve hours without any facilities, that will affect our gite rental.


(Graham Lees) #10

Being on the eastern side of France the majority of our guests are Belgian and Dutch. We have four weeks booked by Brits, one of which started yesterday. Fortunately they were already in France so were not caught up in the debacle.

So, it is a rant, after all...


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #11

Graham,

it's true that there has been a need for heightened security, very much of late and certainly since the days of the 9/11 attacks.....We all realise now that this risk is not going to go away.....but it seems that there hasn't been much thought of what the other consequences of doing this and how to plan/make some changes to allieviate the situation. There should have been some diversions, roadside facilities provided (toilets, refeshments etc) before one reaches the channel ports/chunnel....

Perhaps one good thing now, is that all the European governments will have to speedily review what facilities are available and upgrade them and up the number of security staff at all border control points ....expensive but more people employed and more people paying income tax....

Perhaps we'll get this from Teresa May, now that the emphasis on complete 'austerity' seems to be dropped.....From what I remember, she had to give in and employ more staff at airport customs and to deal with the chaos at the Passport offices - much improved by the time I renewed my passport in 2014


(Barbara Deane) #12

I understand what you are saying....hotels are antil B and B and gite....

BUT they do not have to be excluded!

It looks that I will be working for a few years longer so I am looking into providing a total

service facility for tiny weddings.....up to 20.

And if I do this there will be a need for other bedrooms and my clients will be

spending money in the local area and areas where they travel to and from.

It all adds up....bit by bit.

We have no real idea what is ahead for next year buisness wise although my main

agent is very positive.


(Barbara Deane) #13

Better managment at Border controls of all types! Why not....especially at peak holiday time when

the children are not at school.Perhaps if very early retirement in this area was monitored a liitle more closely? After all most of these retired people apply for work at a higher rate than they previously earned.


(Véronique Langlands) #14

Why should fonctionnaires in France know or care when schools in other countries break up? Ours broké up on July 5th and that's all we're intérestéd in. GB being an island and tedious to leave or go to also isn't our problem. I sympathisé personally but I doubt the douanes etc administration are remotely bothèred.


(Jane Williamson) #15

Veronique, because if you had to wait for twelve hours to go on holiday to spend your money in France, you are not going to be too keen to repeat the experience.

Tourism in Paris is already down by 22per cent and, if as they say, the French want to stay top of the tourism league, they have to consider the welfare and the attitude of their visitors.

After twelve hours on the A20 a gallic shrug will get two fingers!


(Jane Williamson) #16

Barbara, finding a niche in the market and doing it well is usually a positive experience. Good luck.


(Graham Lees) #17

Well yes Véronique, as Emmanuel Macron (French Economy Minister) famously declared just days before the brexit vote on UK TV, Britain will be (is) but a small trading post no more significant than Guernsey so why should the douanes/border control officials be remotely interested. Their focus is on keeping France safe.

The queues can stretch from Dover to Edinburgh for all it matters to them but preserving the essential principles of the République Française must be their prime consideration.


(Jane Williamson) #18

Try telling that to the French hoteliers and those that make their livelihood from visitors.


(Graham Lees) #19

After twelve hours on the A20 a gallic shrug will get two fingers!

and a spell in the slammer... or at least a further delay whilst the etiquette of the English at Azincourt is given due consideration.

French officials at border controls either side of the channel do not deserve to be treated that way. They have the right to pull offenders from the queue and refuse them entry. I sincerely hope they will do so.

If they are your target market Jane, best get the full amount of the accommodation up front enlightened


(Barbara Deane) #20

Veronique maybe the UK is not that important and the actual dates of kids holidays

will propbably not never enter into the minds of the adminstrators at Cherbourge, St Malo

and all the other ports......but maybe someone may tell them that there will be a lot of lost

revenue all the way down from the route to La Rochelle, the landing beaches, Arcachon.....every where.....every hotel, every restaurant, every petrol station, every gite, supemarche, tobac.....everything which is remotely attractive to tourites will suffer greatly if they decide not to

come to France!