The Méribel Tourist Office expresses shocked disbelief at American journalists –
The Méribel Tourist Office today criticized sections of the American press for its recent irresponsible attitude towards Americans visiting Europe, in connection with the recent terror attacks.
Unlike their European counterparts, who actively encouraged tourists to return to New York after 9/11, over the last few weeks many US journalists have been encouraging citizens to stay away from Europe’s popular tourist destinations, including, amazingly, its ski resorts. The worst example of which is Will Rizzo’s “Skiing Into Terror” article, printed in the August edition of Skiing – Winter Adventure magazine (released 25 July).
Says Managing Director of The Méribel Tourist Office, Jean-Marie Choffel: “I am shocked. Mr Rizzo’s comments regarding the safety of American tourists visiting European ski resorts are both alarmist and unfounded. Although it is not the responsibility of tourist boards or tour operators to counter the threat of terrorist action in holiday resorts, as national security is the responsibility of Governments, we deeply refute the claim that we are blasé about the safety of our guests.
“Following the incident in Grenoble, and more recently in London, the French Government has increased the number of Police guards (routinely armed) on trains and at airports – ensuring that they are very visible – to deter would-be terrorists. The local authorities are very aware of their security responsibilities and continually liaise with central agencies to see if there is anything more they should be doing to increase the safety of visitors.”
“Because of other normal ski safety issues, staff constantly check the mountains, resorts and ski lifts and cable cars anyway. Given the current climate we have instructed all staff in and around the resorts to be extra vigilant and will be reviewing our procedures on a regular basis."
Added Mr Choffel: “I would very much like to know where the 50 year old Howitzer pictured in his article, claimed to be in an Alpine meadow, is being moved too so it can fight the war on terror…under the Eiffel Tower in Paris perhaps?”
For further information, or a copy of the 2006 brochure, contact The Méribel Tourist Office on 00 33 479 00 50 00 or visit the website at www.meribel.net
Ends: 15 August 2005
Notes : Will Rizo’s full article, printed in the August edition of Skiing – Winter Adventure magazine (released 25 July): www.skiingmag.com/skiing/cold_front/article/0,12910,684380,00.html
Méribel has more top-of-the-range chalet accommodation than any other ski resort in the world and is the most popular Trois Vallées resort with Americans.
The Trois Vallées boasts over 600kms of groomed trails and a network of 200 lifts across 27,000 acres; more than the North American resorts of Vail, Killington, Squaw Valley, Steamboat, Heavenly and Park City combined (totaling 18,734 acres of skiable terrain).