And now for our travel industry news. This week has been challenging as the world responds to the Paris attacks.
At Willamette Intl Travel, our clients have told us that they feel the best way to show solidarity to the French is to not allow these terrible events prevent them from living life. Perhaps that is why we have not had anyone who is already booked to Paris, France or Europe over the next couple of months cancel. During the last week, we have booked many new trips to Europe, including to France, for travel next summer.
Stay informed is the best way to stay safe. Below are some of the travel industry’s headlines from this week. There are heightened security measures in place, as is to be expected, all over Europe. Be prepared for some delays while you travel.
President Hollande’s State of Emergency
Hollande seeks to submit to French legislature a bill to extend by three months the State of Emergency he declared last Friday night. He said that this was necessary in order for crises to be dealt with.
US Embassy In France Updates Security Message
On 15 November 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued an updated Security Message regarding the 13 November terrorist attacks. The notice reads in part as follows: “In the wake of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and continued terrorist threats against France and Europe detailed in the Department’s Worldwide Caution, we strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.”
Italy Ramps Up Airport Security Checks
Italy has ramped up security at airports across the country in response to the attack in Paris which has been claimed by Islamic State militants. Countries across Europe are tightening emergency precautions after Friday’s gun and bomb rampage killed more than 120 people in France’s worst attack since World War Two. Italy’s civil aviation authority advised passengers on departing flights to arrive at airports earlier to allow for longer waiting times due to stricter search procedures.
What is the State of Emergency in France?
Security level has been reinforced all over the greater Paris region. Police abilities are reinforced, and police interventions are happening in tightly contained, specific districts far from the city centers. The calm atmosphere of Paris City Center is slowly recovering. If we can consider that any of our countries could be out of threat, we can assume that the country is now safer than it has ever been since decades.
For travelers, it means that there are more security check points with a higher level of control in Paris in particular in airports, train stations and other crowded sites. In order to avoid any longer and stressful queues at customs upon arrival in CDG, we strongly encourage our passengers to book a driver upon arrival.
Now Open in Paris
The Eiffel Tower has now reopened with – as you could imagine – the highest level of reinforced security. All other sites are now opened. Obviously the security is reinforced, so it might take more time to go inside the sites. There are no restricted areas for now, except around the Palais de L’Elysée, the US embassy and other highly sensitive sites.