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EIFFEL TOWER

Paris plans to invest €300 million to shorten Eiffel Tower queues

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has put forward plans to invest €300 million over the next 15 years to improve the Eiffel Tower for tourists, with the main aim being to cut queues.

Paris plans to invest €300 million to shorten Eiffel Tower queues
AFP

Proposed upgrades aim to reduce those infamous queues by creating new welcome areas and systems for managing peak times.

The investment will aim to cut the queues both to get in to the famous Iron Lady and then subsequent waits on the first and second levels.

Plans also include giving the monument a new face lift.  

The sparkling lights seen every evening over Paris will be upgraded, so we can expect to see an even more impressive light-show.

READ ALSO: Thirteen things you didn't know about the Eiffel Tower

Photo: AFP

New painting and cleaning work will take place such as modernizing part of the second level, and some of the lifts.

The 300 million will be spread out over the 15 years in 20 million-a-year installments, this is a sizeable increase from the current 13.7 million a year invested in the tower.

These upgrades come as Paris is hoping to win the nomination of host city for the 2024 Olympics as well as the World Expo in 2025.

READ ALSO: See what Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower

Photo: Sathish J/ Flickr

“The upgrade will be carried out between now and the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024. The Eiffel Tower will be at the heart of festivities capable of responding to the challenges of a rise in visitor numbers” said deputy Paris mayor Francois Martins.

“The City Hall will not only protect this heritage but also ensure that it preserves its iconic power for years to come”. 

by Rose Trigg

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TOURISM

Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II

The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors on Friday for the first time in nine months following its longest closure since World War II.

Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II
The Eiffel Tower reopens on Friday. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP

The lifts of the Dame de fer (Iron Lady) are set to whir back into life, transporting tourists to its 300-metre summit, ending a long period of inactivity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daily capacity is restricted to 13,000 people, however, about half of the normal level, in order to respect social distancing.

And from Wednesday next week, visitors will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test, in line with recent government-imposed requirements on the pass sanitaire (health passport).

READ ALSO How France’s expanded health passport will work this summer

“Obviously it’s an additional operational complication, but it’s manageable,” the head of the operating company, Jean-François Martins, told AFP.

After a final round of safety checks by staff, he announced that the “lady is ready”.

Early reservations for tickets during the summer holiday period underline how the tourism industry in Paris has changed due to travel restrictions.

Martins said there was an “almost total absence” of British ticket holders, while only 15 percent were Americans and very few are from Asia.

READ ALSO Eiffel Tower: 13 things you didn’t know about Paris’ ‘iron lady’

Half of visitors are expected to be French, while Italians and Spanish make up a higher proportion than usual.

The long closure has caused havoc with the finances of the operating company, Sete, which runs the monument on behalf of Paris city authorities.

It is set to seek additional government aid and a fresh €60-million cash injection to stay afloat, having seen its revenues fall by 75 percent to €25 million in 2020.

The masterpiece by architect Gustave Eiffel has also been hit by problems linked to its latest paint job, the 20th time it has been repainted since its construction in 1889.

Work was halted in February because of high levels of lead detected on the site, which poses a health risk to workers.

Tests are still underway and painting is set to resume only in the autumn, meaning a part of the facade is obscured by scaffolding and safety nets.

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