Tourists in Paris Voice Support for City After Attacks

November 16,2015

PARIS— As Paris continues to mourn and recover from the worst attack since World War II, the tourists the city's economy depends on are voicing their support.

The global outpouring of support for France is very visible on the streets of the French capital.

More than 30 million tourists visit Paris every year.

Those who depend on the tourist business fear the terrorist attacks could drive away customers.

“Because if it continues like this, it's, you know.. wheh! We are living from tourism in this city," said Mohamed Nacshait, of Bicycle Taxi Tour. "This city of the main, you know, sources of its economy is tourism, you know.”

Security is tight and tourist sites were temporarily closed.

But, while the numbers have dropped, visitors still arrive outside famous landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Some recall the pervasive fear after the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

“I have no idea what tourists must have felt like in my city," said Dawn Mabalon, a history professor at San Francisco State University. "You know, I'm sure they were scared. But, I also remember the next day having to go to the grocery store too and having to move my car because it was street cleaning. And, just having to kind of do the every day things that we have to do in San Francisco and as the Parisians are doing here.”

Some tourists pay respects outside the Bataclan theater, where suicide bombers killed more than 80 people attending a concert.

“I understand how they feel because we had a bombing in Ankara too," said Turkish tourist Mustafa Etkaturk. "And I, we, lost friends as well. So, we know how they feel right now.”

International visitors voice solidarity with Parisians, shaken by the violence, but defiant.

“Support the people here, support the economy, support the life here. Don't change anything. Just carry on,” said Ming Lam, a Dutch businessman.

France is normally the most visited country in the world.

Despite the trauma of terrorism close to home, the Paris that everyone loves is slowly recovering.