Herve Ladsous, the French Ambassador to China, said rumors of an officially imposed boycott by the Chinese government against Chinese people traveling to France are untrue. He added he hopes the two countries will continue to seek friendly tourism exchanges.
But Herve Ladsous allowed: “The number of visas issued to Chinese tourists has fallen by about two-thirds recently. But I have spoken with Chinese tourism officials who told me the Chinese government has not issued any notices discouraging tourists from going to France, and I believe them."
The French Embassy in Beijing said the number of visas issued to Chinese tourists has fallen by 70% over the past three weeks, compared with the same period last year.
According to the Shanghai Morning News, the recent decrease in the number of Shanghai residents traveling to Europe – including France – is due to difficulties getting visas and rising airfares.
However, following the disruption of the Olympic torch relay in Paris in April, opinion polls have shown that many Chinese now have negative feelings toward France.
FaxTravel.com reported that Herve Ladsous said he was concerned by the damage to France’s image and said he hoped the situation will soon improve.