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MrMark
27th December 2011, 14:56
France sees boom in war tourism

French war museum in vanguard of push for more foreign tourists | World news | guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/26/french-war-museum-foreign-tourists)


From US soldiers introducing chewing gum to France in 1917 to a toothbrush from a trench and newfangled machine guns and shells, the carnage of the first world war has been given a revolutionary treatment in a new French war museum near Disneyland Paris.

It hopes to draw tourists away from Mickey Mouse, and impress the realities of a war that killed 22 million on a generation who only know conflict through video games .

But the Museum of the Great War in Meaux, inaugurated by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, last month and already exceeding expected visitor numbers, is also the first move in France's new campaign to develop itself as the world capital of war tourism.

France is still the world's number one tourist destination. But while its reputation for shopping has slumped, the government now hopes its wealth of battlefields, memorial sites, trenches and war cemeteries holds the key to attracting tourists. More than 20 million tourists a year visit France for its battle sites and war history. That number is expected to soar with the centenary of the first world war in 2014 and the 70th anniversary of the D-day landings, already triggering a round of renovations and new themed tours.

One day, Oxford Street will be like that.

mrdonuts
27th December 2011, 15:27
cashing in on the dead who died setting them free. Sarkozy would do well to remember who stood by them in their time of need.