What’s new in France in hotels, attractions, transport: Travel Weekly


Félicité Long

I once went for a walk in the streets of Paris with a tour guide who said she normally leads groups of 20 or more visitors for the first time on great European tours – a few days in each destination and an emphasis on strengths.

I would find it hard to think of a more difficult job, except maybe as a kindergarten teacher, so I asked her why she was sticking to it rather than, say, leading small affinity groups when. fun and specialized little tours.

“Are you tired of showing the Eiffel Tower to crowded buses?” I asked.

What keeps her going, she explained, is that her groups, mostly beginners in the wonders of Europe, are so amazed by the views.

“I’ve seen grown men cry,” she told me.

How do you explain this kind of devotion to a destination that some people have never seen but think they know, while others – and I fall into this category – come back again and again?

Of course, some of these can be attributed to the beauty of its towns and countryside, its much-vaunted devotion to art, culture and cuisine and our shared – albeit a little choppy at times – history.

But France also has the merit of not having rested on its laurels, choosing instead to improve what many of us already think is pretty good.

It’s no surprise, then, that the country has spent much of the pandemic investing in new infrastructure – think hotels, attractions, and access – designed to keep the destination fresh and relevant.

All of this has a price to pay at a time of devastating decline in tourism revenues, but according to Anne-Laure Tuncer, USA Director and Americas Regional Coordinator at Atout France, “the French government throughout this period has offered very strong support to the The travel industry in France through financial aid and other actions to help get through this pandemic and even prosper. “

The efforts are already paying off.

France was among the three most requested European destinations by American travelers this summer, according to ForwardKeys. Since France reopened to American citizens and residents from June 9 to August, there have been nearly 250,000 arrivals from the United States.

These were mostly individual travelers, but for the fall, Atout France reports seeing more groups, with strong bookings expected for 2022.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the impromptu trips to Paris just to see Christo’s enveloped Arc de Triomphe,” Tuncer said, referring to the late artist’s temporary work that caught the world’s attention. .

What’s new in attractions

In the world of attractions, the Louvre lens – the first regional annex of the Louvre in Paris – will celebrate its 10th anniversary all next year. To celebrate the Louvre, Lens, accessible by TGV from Paris, will present two major exhibitions: “Rome” and “The Hieroglyphs”.

Dijon will host the long postponed International City of Gastronomy and Wine April 22. The place will be the starting point of the region’s wine route, which stretches from Dijon to Mâcon.

More than half of the structures in the new 8.5-acre neighborhood will include reused and restored historic buildings and will include a cooking school, new stores and restaurants, a four-star hotel, and a cinema.

Next June, Marseille will mark the opening of a replica of the prehistoric underwater cave known as the Cosquer cave at the Villa Méditerranée.

The current cave, nearly 30,000 years old, is located near Cape Morgiou, between Cassis and Marseille, and has more than 500 rock paintings.

What’s new in the hotel industry

The hotel’s news includes the Grand Hôtel de la Poste, a five-star establishment that will open its doors in early 2022 in the redeveloped Grande Poste du Louvre, a historic post office that will continue to operate in part of the building.

La Maison Delano Paris, a new property signed Katara Hospitality and Accor, should also open next year. The hotel will have 56 rooms and suites, a restaurant and a bar and will be located in the 8th arrondissement.

Among the recently opened high-level establishments are the 72-room Cheval Blanc Paris, near the Marais and with a Dior Spa, and the 14 suites Hotel Airelles du Grand Control in Versailles, with a spa, an Alain Ducasse restaurant and an indoor swimming pool.

What’s new in transport

As for access, Air France will resume Seattle-Paris flights on November 8, and French Bee inaugurated service from Newark to Orly airport on July 15.

Finally, in the longer term, Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics.


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