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TRAVEL

Disneyland Paris postpones re-opening to April

Disneyland Paris, Europe's biggest tourist attraction, said Monday it now expects to reopen on April 2nd, seven weeks later than planned, because of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Disneyland Paris postpones re-opening to April
Disneyland Paris' Sleeping Beauty Castle. Illustration photo: AFP

Disneyland Paris said on Twitter it could not honour the original February 13th target date for reopening the theme park, and that even the April date could only be met if health conditions permitted.

 

The park, which employs 17,000 people, closed between March 13th and July 15th last year, and has been shut again since October 30th. 

According to a union source, its management expects a return to pre-pandemic levels of activity only in 2022.

The Disney group has announced 32,000 job cuts at its theme park activities worldwide by the end of the first quarter, mostly in the United States, because of the impact of the coronavirus.

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TOURISM

Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.

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