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French tourism gets boost with reopening of Disneyland Paris

/ 08:19 PM July 15, 2020
France Disney

FILE – In this June 8, 2018 file photo, a person dressed as Mickey Mouse poses in front of the castle of Sleeping Beauty at Disneyland Paris, in Chessy, France, east of Paris. The French tourist industry received a further boost Wednesday, July 15, 2020 with the partial reopening of Disneyland Paris and the opening up of the top floor of the Eiffel Tower. Disneyland Paris, Europe’s most frequented theme park resort, is partially re-opening to the public, four months after it closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

PARIS — The French tourist industry received a further boost Wednesday with the partial reopening of Disneyland Paris and the opening up of the top floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Disneyland Paris, Europe’s most frequented theme park resort, is partially re-opening to the public, four months after it closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The park in Marne-la-Vallee, to the east of the French capital, is opening its doors in a phased way starting Wednesday with Disneyland Parks and the Walt Disney Studios.

It will feature enhanced safety measures including managed attendance, reduced capacity to support social distancing, and bolstered cleaning and disinfection of rides and spaces.

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Also Wednesday the top floor of Paris’ Eiffel Tower re-opened. The 19th century iron monument, one of the French capital’s most visited attractions, partially re-opened its first two floors on June 26 following its longest closure since World War II.

Eiffel Tower officials have said a maximum of 250 people will now be allowed at the top floor at a time to enjoy the panoramic views of the City of Light.

The monument’s managing director Patrick Branco Ruivo remained upbeat about the short-term future for tourism at the Eiffel Tower and in Paris more broadly.

“Last year, during the same period we welcomed 23,000 people everyday. When we opened the Eiffel Tower, the first weekend we welcomed 5,000 people… and last weekend 10,000 people. That’s why for us we are optimistic for this summer even if the conditions are different… It’s a message of hope about COVID-19, that even if the conditions are not always very easy.”

One visitor, 37-year old Damien Testard from the Paris suburbs, said that he was “delighted” about his Wednesday trip to the Eiffel Tower, in particular one that was “without too many people.”

Tourism officials say that Paris brings in more than 30 million tourists a year and in 2018, France recorded nearly 90 million overnight arrivals from visitors and tourists, making it one of the most visited countries in the world.

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