On The Town: Attractions Gear Up as French Border Reopens

paris on the town
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Representatives from some of the most iconic Parisian attractions reached out to Canadian travel media last week, reminding us the ‘City of Lights’ is open and ready to welcome back Canadians. 

Baguette, paté and wine await!

Hosting a Paris webinar on 10JUN, Catherine Guillemart and Melanie Paul-Hus from Air France and Atout France Canada, respectively, were joined by fellow reps from Eiffel Tower, Galeries Lafayette, and CroisiEurope.

The good news is that fully vaccinated tourists can once again visit France. The exceptions to the country’s newly-opened borders are citizens of a ‘red zone’, which include; Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Turkey and Uruguay.

Paul-Hus explained that if a traveller is not a French national or is not fully vaccinated, they will be required to provide a compelling reason for their trip to be able to enter France. All travellers – regardless of vaccination standing – will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test (that was taken within 72 hours of boarding) prior to, and following their flight. Those who are unvaccinated will need to quarantine for seven days upon arrival in France.

AIR

Air France is providing lift to meet the expected demand from Canada. Guillemart announced that starting in July, Air France will offer 17 weekly flights from YUL to CDG, five from YYZ, and three from YVR. All penalties and fees will be waived for those who have to reschedule their flights due to a COVID-19 test result not being ready at time of boarding.

ATTRACTIONS

The French capital’s three opera houses, 144 museums, and 2206 historical monuments, are timeless draws to the city, but new attractions and features give even experienced travellers reasons to visit Paris.

Eiffel Tower

Walking the streets of Paris and glimpsing The Eiffel Tower peeking out above the famous rooftops gives every visitor a little ‘frisson’ of pleasure. Nathalie Bruel, Head of Operations at Tour Eiffel, announced that Gustave Eiffel’s vision is reopening on 16JUL and will offer new products and services including a mobile tour guide available in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Chinese), and a children’s course called “Tom and Ella” that is led by children, for children, in three languages (unspecified).

Additionally, Bruel shared that there will be tours for groups of 10 available, as well as personalized tours for groups of five to six people. 

She also mentioned that while shuttered, the gardens of the Eiffel Tower have been expanded, and that the second floor of the tower has been redeveloped.

Then there’s shopping. Did we mention shopping? ‘Department store’ is an understated term for the Galeries Lafayette, which houses hundreds of designer brands and attracts 50 million visitors annually. It was the first in Europe and still has its famous, original neo-byzantine glass dome. Talk about ‘window’ shopping!

Azbileg Incerto, Director of International Clients at Galeries Lafayette, shared what experiences will be available for tourists. Fashion shows, a variety of workshops ranging from cooking and baking classes, are all currently available to book into the summer months, along with personal shoppers for your clients with larger ‘porte monnaies!’

Galeries Lafayette

Hosting major sports events such as the Rugby World Cup in 2023, and the Winter Olympic Games in 2024, Paris will be a sought after tourist destination.

For clients who want to travel slightly further afield, cruises along France’s rivers will soon be available this summer with CroisiEurope. Michel Grimm, International Sales Director, said there will be 13 different cruise itineraries offered on the River Seine, and all include food, alcoholic beverages, wifi, and excursions. 

CroisiEurope

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