The coronavirus shut-downs have halted most of the world’s summer vacation plans.
Paris was finally going to be crossed off your bucket list until strict border control caused you to throw your beret back into the closet.
Ah, c’est la vie!
Well, don’t bury that beret under a pile of failed dreams quite yet, because there’s a surprise in store for you!
France announced they will be back in business before you know it – so get ready to load up on croissants before climbing the 1,165 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Just last year, France was overrun with tourists, agitating locals and forcing local government to review methods for controlling the hordes of people, as Proud American Traveler previously reported.
Over the course of the last couple months, Paris – the most popular city in France – became nearly deserted, giving those cobblestone streets a truly Old World feel.
While the struggling hotels, restaurants, and artisans miss the revenue tourism brought in, the residents have fallen back in love with their city once again.
Anne Deguy, a French journalist, says, “I just love Paris without tourists,” reported the LA Times.
“It’s empty and I’ve been profiting by going to places I haven’t been to for 30 years because normally they’re invaded by tourists,” she adds.
So now is the time to plan that trip to Paris – when tourism is low and some of the world’s most-beloved attractions begin to open up.
France finally opened up to its European neighbors Monday, according to the LA Times, but international visitors won’t be able to shop the Champs-Elysees until July 1 – and only then from approved countries.
It is unsure if America will make the coveted guest list yet, but with 7% of France’s GDP and 2 million jobs coming from the tourism industry, it would be in France’s best interest to do so.
The Palace of Versailles definitely misses their American guests.
“We want to turn the page, forget this disease, which we have beaten, and get back to normal at Versailles. This is important because we want to say to American tourists: ‘Please come back,’” said Catherine Pegard, who runs the palace.
She adds in genuine admiration, “Versailles embodies the relationship between our two countries, and we are feeling the absence of U.S. visitors.”
Versailles, along with Paris, has implemented many precautions such as mandatory masks, increased patio seating at restaurants, and decreased admissions to attractions.
Wondering when to book your trip?
Disneyland Paris plans on reopening July 15, a day after Bastille Day celebrations, but will have limited rides and attractions available due to Coronavirus precautions.
The famous Eiffel Tower will allow guests to use the lift beginning July 1. While masks will be required and wait times may be longer due to limited passengers per ride, it’s sure to be worth the wait.
The Louvre will accept visitors on July 6th with social distancing being encouraged throughout each room.
The post-pandemic Paris will look much different from the tired and worn Paris of the past.
Shop keepers and restaurant workers have had a chance to take a break, while the city had the chance to realize the value their tourists bring.
Tourism is a fickle industry where those who live amid the chaos have a love/hate relationship with the strangers who pour into their lives.
But Paris, for one, is ready and waiting to embrace their guests once again.