The Eiffel Tower will need a capital injection of several millions of euros to overcome the crisis caused by the pandemic, announced on Saturday May 22nd the company responsible for operating the monument.
In statements to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the president of the Society of Operation of the Eiffel Tower (SETE), Jean-François Martins, noted that the company’s own funds are limited to 30 million euros and “are not sufficient” to meet the expected expenses with a very low level of activity, and after long periods of closure.
The two deficits in a row cannot be absorbed by the SETE from its own funds. The City of Paris and the Metropolis of Greater Paris are going to help us get through thisJean-François Martins, President of SETE
In this sense, Martins regretted that “the monument that embodies France in the world has not had specific state aid” (despite a state loan of 25 million euros). He revealed that he has already begun negotiations with its two shareholders, the Municipality of Paris (which holds 99% of the capital) and the Metropolitan Authority (1%), to move forward with the capital reinforcement.
In addition to covering the running costs, the financial injection also aims to enable the renovation of the elevator in the north pillar, at an estimated cost of 50 million euros, in addition to a painting campaign scheduled for the fall that is expected to cost another 50 million euros.
The iconic Paris monument will reopen to the public on July 16, eight and a half months after it closed due to restrictions enacted in France to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Restrictions will be partially maintained, however, with the imposition of a one-meter distance between visitors, which will limit the capacity of the elevators in the east and west pillars to half: 25 people each way.
The ticketing will reopen on June 1st, said Martins. The monument relies on two thirds of online reservations. The physical sale of tickets at the feet of the tower, one of the most frequented monuments in the world in the pre-Covid era, will be possible as of the reopening.
The reduction in occupancy capacity, coupled with the drop in tourists, means that the number of customers is expected to be no more than 10,000 per day, compared to an average of 25,000 previously.
In 2020, the company saw its revenues reduced to €25 million, down from around €100 million in 2019, and this translated into an operating loss of €50 million. For 2021, 30 million in sales and a new loss of 70 million euros are expected