How Paris Is Protecting Its Ultra-rich Visitors
It's fashion week in Paris, and the city wants to make sure visitors feel safe.
As Paris kicks off Couture Fashion Week, some of the world’s most well-heeled tourists are pouring into the city.
But after some high-profile robberies and crimes in the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, Paris officials are taking new precautions toward protecting visitors—especially the high-net-worth foreign ones.
The most attention-grabbing case was against Kim Kardashian in October. Just one month later, Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat was tear-gassed by masked thieves in an unsuccessful robbery attempt. And not even a week after that, two Qatari sisters were robbed of possessions valued at $5.3 million.
Those who can afford it are shelling out for increased personal protection while in the city, according to the New York Times. But after terrorist attacks in 2015 caused a slump in Paris tourism numbers, the city is aggressively trying to court new tourists and retain loyal fans by reassuring them that the city is safe and secure.
In November, then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced a multi-million euro plan to create a government force specifically dedicated to the safety of tourists. The plan hinged on installing increased security, including video surveillance, around Paris’s tourist areas like museums, monuments and hotels. France will also increase security at foreign borders.
For Couture Fashion Week, attendees will have to submit to bodywand scans, ID checks, and bag inspections. Army guards are stationed outside of major monuments—including the Grand Palais, where a large portion of couture shows are staged.
“Paris is the first tourist destination in the world,” Jean-François Martins, deputy mayor of tourism, said last week. “Incidents sometimes make headlines, for example about Kim Kardashian, but these acts are very rare and exist in all the cities of the world.”