Paris Cultural Sites to Close Saturday Amid Riot Fears

Bob Edme  / Associated Press

A demonstrator holds a sign reading “Join us” in Biarritz on Dec. 5. Concessions made by French president Emmanuel Macron’s government in a bid to stop violent anti-government demonstrations seemed to have failed to convince protesters. Bob Edme / Associated Press

Skift Take: Now is not the best time to be visiting Paris, though some of the biggest tourist draws in the city will remain open. It will be in the interest of residents and visitors alike for the government and protestors to reach an agreement that brings calm.

— Hannah Sampson

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Europeans Traveled Abroad More in 2018 But the Pace Slowed

ITB Berlin

Representatives from Romania encourage visitors to learn a local dance at a stand at the ITB Berlin 2018 event. Romania was one of the countries that benefited from tourism growth this year according to a new survey. ITB Berlin

Skift Take: Europeans did more outbound international travel this year than last year. The pace of growth was not as torrid as in the past, however. Experts forecast a similar modest growth rate for 2019.

— Sean O’Neill

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Lufthansa Wants Union Members to Pay for Having Organized on Company Time

Bloomberg

Lufthansa aircraft lined up at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Group has billed a cabin-crew union for pay it says some staff received when they were actually working for the labor group. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Unions, like companies, can be good or bad. The devil’s in the details of this dispute, which airlines and unions worldwide will be following closely.

— Sean O’Neill

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Virgin Atlantic Looked at Launching a Low-Cost Airline

Bloomberg

Virgin Atlantic spent months trying to figure out if it should launch a low-cost carrier. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Yet another airline trying figure out how to compete with low-cost airlines, Virgin Atlantic opted not to launch its own — figuring the damage to its brand would be too high a price to pay. Noble move, yes, but let’s see if its alternative of splitting its economy class into three price categories works.

— Tom Lowry

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What Zuji’s Suspension for Missed Payments Means for Asia’s Online Travel Pioneers

johnlsl  / Flickr

A terminal at Singapore Changi Airport is shown. Online travel agency Zuji, which operates in Singapore and Hong Kong, has failed to meet its payment obligations for airline ticket sales and has been suspended by the International Air Transport Association. johnlsl / Flickr

Skift Take: All is not well with Zuji, a pioneer in the online travel space in Asia-Pacific. An ownership that is more adept at aviation than running an OTA may be an issue, but it’s clear the entry of global OTAs flush with marketing wherewithal and expertise are making it difficult for the pioneers to compete.

— Raini Hamdi

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