“The recovery is really there” on the Eiffel Tower, assures Jean-François Martins, the president of the operating company of the tower, this Saturday on franceinfo, while the attendance figures have reached 80% of attendance before the pandemic since January and while the site “did an Easter week and weekend at levels almost comparable to those of 2019”.
>> Covid-19: after two years of pandemic, tourists are making a massive return to Paris
franceinfo: Do tourists take advantage of sunny days to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower?
Tourists are taking advantage of this and in proportions that we have not seen since the start of the pandemic. We did a week and an Easter weekend at levels almost comparable to those of 2019 so this is very good news for us after two years which have been complicated. We have been in a movement, since January, which takes us to 80% of our pre-Covid-19 visitors. The recovery is really there and the good weather is boosting it.
Which tourists have not yet returned?
Asia which is very closed, very confined. Mainly these long-haul markets: China, Australia, Japan. And then the British have not yet fully returned, at least as much as the other Europeans. There is a plural factor in Great Britain: Brexit, visas, the rate of the pound against the euro… There are plenty of phenomena, compared to the British, which explain that the recovery is a little longer.
Have French tourists returned?
Yes, the good news in all this is the return of the French in proportions which for once are much higher than what we knew before the Covid-19. We are almost one in four visitors who are French and it is a real pleasure for us to be able to share the Eiffel Tower with some of the French who perhaps had shunned it, saying to themselves that there were too many tourists. In this proportion of French visitors, we have a lot of Parisians, Ile-de-France residents, so there is this tendency of local tourism, of rediscovering heritage close to home after having been deprived of many of these outings for two years which we enjoy. We hope that we will, by offering a program on the Tower, make these Ile-de-France residents and French people want to come back regularly to the Tower.