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France Unveils $19 Billion Bailout for Ravaged Tourism, Hospitality Sectors

Photo Credit: Skift

France has announced an €18 million ($19 million) bailout package for its tourism industry.

The bailout announced on Thursday, May 14, aims to salvage a variety of France’s hospitality sectors.

It also seeks to support activities that make up the French identity.

The tourism sector in France, according to a Reuters report, has been hammered by the coronavirus crisis and resulting shutdown in beaches, leisure attractions and hotels.

According to report, some 90 million foreign tourists visited France in 2019.

That made France the most visited country in the world, according to government data.

The tourism in France accounts for almost 8% of the country’s 2.3 trillion euro economy.

Addressing a news conference, Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe, says
“Tourism is facing what is probably its worst challenge in modern history.”

He says “Because this is one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescuing it is a national priority.”

“This very French pleasure, which is at the heart of our identity, to meet up, eat well and have a chat, has been compromised by the lockdown first, and then the conditions of lifting that lockdown,” Mr Philippe added.

According to him, with 95% of hotels closed, the government’s priority was to avoid bankruptcies and job cuts.

He revealed that as part of efforts to save jobs, the French Government was reimbursing companies for 70% of the gross wages of workers they put on furlough, and Philippe said that it will extend this measure until at least the end of September.

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