Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo has hit back at President Donald Trump’s negative remarks about the city, using Walt Disney characters.
She tweeted a picture of herself with Mickey and Minnie Mouse celebrating Paris’ “dynamism and spirit of openness”.
French President Francois Hollande said such criticisms were “never good”.
At a speech to conservative activists, Donald Trump cited a friend who no longer wanted to take his family to Paris.
The president also criticized Europe’s handling of terrorism, saying that Americans could not let recent attacks happen in the US.
More than 230 people have died in a series of attacks in France since the beginning of 2015, including in January and November of that year in Paris and in Nice in July 2016.
Speaking at the CPAC on February 24, Donald Trump sought to justify his crackdown on immigration by criticizing the effect it had had on some European countries.
The president singled out Paris, mentioning a friend called “Jim” who used to be a regular visitor to the city but had stopped going in recent years because “Paris is no longer Paris”.
“Take a look at what’s happening to our world, folks, and we have to be smart… We can’t let that happen to us,” Donald Trump went on.
Anne Hidalgo stressed the inclusivity and energy of Paris, tweeting a picture of her launching a tourism campaign at the Eiffel Tower.
The remarks came as France celebrated the 25th anniversary of the theme park Disneyland Paris.
She also challenged the suggestion that tourist numbers from the United States were in decline, saying reservations were up 30% in 2017.
President Hollande, meanwhile, said Donald Trump’s remarks were no way to behave towards an ally.
“It is never good to show the slightest mistrust towards a friendly country,” he said.
“That is not what I would do towards a friendly country and I would ask the American president not to do it to France.”
In a reference to France’s tighter gun control laws, Francoise Hollande said: “There are no weapons circulating here. There are no people who take weapons to shoot into the crowd simply for the satisfaction of causing drama and tragedy.”
According to figures published by the Paris Office of Tourism, 7,356,945 foreign tourists arrived at hotels in the city of Paris between January and November 2016, 11.9% fewer than in the same period the previous year.
Among American tourists the decline was only slighter smaller – there were 1,387,191 hotel arrivals, down 9.9%.
In the same period there was a slight rise in the number of tourists from other parts of France, of 0.3% to almost 6 million.
The 2015 figures mostly cover the period before the November 13 attacks which shocked the country and left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.
No figures were given for tourists staying in non-hotel accommodation such as Airbnb.