France issues desperate plea to UK tourists as they 'boycott' Paris

France has issued a desperate plea to UK tourists as Paris the capital city, faces a crisis of being EMPTY ahead of the Olympics this summer. Airline AirFrance could see a possible shortfall of £152m if holidaymakers decide against booking flights to Paris.

AirFrance-KLM Group said in a statement: "International markets show a significant avoidance of Paris. Travel between the city and other destinations is also below the usual June-August average as residents in France seem to be postponing their holidays until after the Olympic Games or considering alternative travel plans.

"Travel to and from France is expected to normalise after the Olympic Games, with encouraging demand levels projected for the end of August and the month of September." Ze Hotel's director Aldric Duval said: "I think the Olympic Games effect is counter-productive since everything is very expensive."

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He added: "We explained to [tourists] that traffic restrictions were going to be complicated, that the price of a metro ticket was going to triple, that the tourist tax had tripled... On top of that, the weather is difficult, so people are less inclined to come."

WeHost co-founder Romain Bellet said AirBnB occupancy rates were as low as 20 per cent in May. "It's extremely quiet," he said bluntly. It comes as it emerged thousands of homeless people have been removed from Paris and the surrounding area as part of a “clean-up” operation ahead of the Olympic Games.

Paul Alauzy, a coordinator for health monitoring at Médecins du Monde, accused the authorities of “social cleansing” of the city’s most precarious population in order for Paris to “appear in the most flattering light possible” for the Olympics.

“They are hiding the misery under the rug,” he said. “If this really was a dignified solution to the problem, people would be fighting to get on the buses. They’re not. We are in the process of making life impossible for these people and those who support them.”