France economy nightmare as Paris hotels see tourist exodus – wont return until 2022

France: UK's travel restrictions slammed by residents

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Last month, around 40 percent of independent hotels in the French capital were closed and around 70 percent may not open in August due to the lack of bookings. Industry professionals have warned they expect a loss of nearly 30 million tourists this summer.

Frank Delvau, executive president of UMIH Paris Ile-de-France said: “I am making an appeal, come and visit Paris, now is the time.

“The Eiffel Tower is easily accessible, the Louvre museum as well.

“You can go to the Palace of Versailles easily, there is plenty of room in restaurants, now is the time to come.”

Mr Delvau’s plea comes after State Secretary for Tourism Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne predicted tourists coming from Asia will not be seen in France until at least 2022.

He said: “A few Americans have been returning since June, but Asian tourists won’t be seen again until 2022.

“And Paris still suffers from the lack of business tourism.”

However, Mr Lemoyne said France hopes to receive 50 million visitors from Europe and said summer is “full of hope”.

He continued: “The local European clientele is there: Germans, Dutch Belgians.

“On the other hand, the British, like last summer, come less, because their government has set up a strict quarantine on their return.

“In 2020, 94 percent of French people who went on vacation chose France.

“This year, they are already 80 percent.

“And with the arrival of the fourth wave worldwide, many finally choose to rediscover our territories.

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“They will probably be around 85 percent.”

Across the European Union, the ‘EU digital COVID certificate’ came into effect from July 1 this year.

The certificate is legally planned until June 30, 2022, but Mr Lemoyne said the pass would not necessarily mean a general lifting of health restrictions.

He said: “The health pass is the first tool to fight the epidemic.

“However, the virus is unexpectedly permanent and we will continue to have a local management of the response.”

The UK is in France’s “orange” category, meaning that fully vaccinated people can travel to France without submitting to quarantine upon arrival.

Back in May, French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drain, said the UK will not end up in the red-list but will face “slightly tougher sanitary measures”.

He said: “The arrival of the Indian [Delta] variant is a problem, and we remain on high alert regarding that matter, in cooperation with the British authorities.”

France remains behind on vaccination but is catching up after a slow start.

It has so far administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 73 percent of its adult population and fully inoculated 62 percent of people aged 18 and over.

In the UK, more than 88 percent of adults have received at least one dose and more than 71.1 percent is fully vaccinated.

France is currently on England’s ‘amber plus’ list which means people must quarantine upon entry including those who have had two vaccines.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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