The Eiffel Tower, the capital’s emblem, attracts half the number of daily visitors than last year. The neighborhood’s terraces are empty and some hoteliers have to cut prices.
Paris emptied of its tourists by the coronavirus. Summer 2020 is very calm in the capital, too calm for the taste of professionals in the sector. The major monuments of the capital, the museums, have two to three times fewer visitors compared to last year. Hotels and restaurants are half empty due to the health crisis. A very symbolic example: the Eiffel Tower is currently visited by 8,000 to 11,000 people per day on average, against 23,000 to 25,000 daily visitors last year.
Under the sun, seated on a bench in the Champ de Mars, Nicole and Lucien, two Parisians, contemplate the void. “What struck me was the desert. Usually you can hardly move around. While there, at least, I’m enjoying my city “, Nicole enthuses. The octogenarian couple have spent their entire lives in the capital and have never seen a summer so calm.
That’s crazy. We were on the riverboat, there was no one there. There were maybe five or six on the boat.to franceinfo
More surprisingly, Parisians mainly hear French spoken. Normally, 80% of visitors to the Eiffel Tower are foreigners. This year, they are only 25%. “There, I find that there are many more Parisians who visit than foreign visitors, confirms a Parisian woman crossed at the foot of the iron lady. I’m doing the tour, because it’s the first time that my cousins come. They don’t know Paris at all. “
Before the Eiffel Tower, the family visited the Louvre and the young Noam says he passed a lot of people in the museum: “Yes, a lot compared to here. There were a lot more.” In fact, the great museum of art and antiquity currently attracts 10,000 visitors a day and although it may seem like a lot, it is 60% less than last year.
Everywhere, tourists are long in coming. A few hundred meters from the Champ de Mars, the terrace of the Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel is completely empty. “We make 20% of our turnover at the moment, deplores the manager. Normally, we are full. These are the 15 biggest days of the year usually. “
Among hoteliers, the finding is not more encouraging. To fill his 15 Parisian hotels, Wu Quin, the boss of the Hipotel chain, breaks the prices. “For a three-star hotel, we have to rent a room for a minimum of 100 euros. Today, we are half the price just to cover the costs, because we have no tourists, the shopkeeper is in despair. It is the tourists who can pay more. “
We have those who come to sleep with us out of necessity, that is, they come to see their loved ones. They come to work. There are even some who have left because they can no longer support their spouse.to franceinfo
The hotel register confirms this: “We only have two foreigners, one from Holland and another from Spain”, says Wu Quin. In the very high end, it’s even worse. In the absence of wealthy tourists from the United States, Asia or the Middle East, most palaces or large Parisian hotels are still closed and will not reopen until the beginning of September.