Tourists will be able to visit the top floor of the Eiffel Tower again from July 15, marking another symbolic but important step in the gradual revival of the French tourism sector.
The iconic Paris landmark reopened to tourists on June 26 after being closed during France’s mandatory coronavirus lockdown this spring. But for now, the top floor has remained off-limits.
However, in a press release published on its website, the agency that manages the Eiffel Tower announced the date of July 15. The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel has also indicated that it will increase from 8 to 20 the number of people who can use the elevators from the ground floor to the second floor.
“Who hasn’t dreamed of having Paris at their feet, from a height of 276 meters?” says the statement in French. “It will be possible from July 15, the day of the reopening of the top floor.”
The announcement is another drop of good news for France’s struggling tourism industry. The country boasts of being the most visited country, but the pandemic has drained this vital industry. While the government has launched a “Marshall Plan” to rescue tourism, visitor numbers for the current summer season are expected to remain well below previous years due to ongoing travel bans for visitors from countries such as the United States.
And even for the attractions that are reopening, the atmosphere remains very different. As with other major attractions such as the Louvre Museum, visitors to the Eiffel Tower will need to follow strict health guidelines. These include wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. And only 250 people will be allowed on the top floor at a time.
Tickets can be purchased in advance or on site. But the agency noted that it averaged 5,000 visitors on weekdays and 8,000 on weekends. That’s still well below typical crowds for an attraction that typically draws 7 million people a year. As a result, the agency noted that there were no queues at the entrance.
While French borders are just beginning to open to some European countries, the Tower agency said visitors were 75% French. They are also running a promotion offering a 50% discount for children aged 4-11. According to the Local news site, the Eiffel Tower had been closed for 104 days and the company operating it had lost 27 million euros ($30 million). ).