Fears are growing that visitors to Paris next year will be bitten financially and discouraged from visiting – and not just by bedbugs.
Next year’s lucky Parisian holidaymakers will find new metro lines making their journeys more convenient and, of course, from July to September an Olympic and paralympic menu to add to the usual array of Parisian attractions.
But amid reports suggesting the City of Lights is also gearing up to cash in on what promises to be a bumper year, some are expressing concerns about a backlash. With the rise of slow travel and tourists’ increasing desire to see places less-visited, are big hitters like Paris in for a disappointing 2024?
30% increase at the Louvre
One of Paris’s most famous and visited sites, attracting 9 million visitors this year, the Louvre Museum (home to the Mona Lisa) announced last Friday it will be raising entry prices from January. Instead of 17 euros for a standard entry, the first price increase in six years will see visitors will pay 22 euros to enter. That additional 30% is supposed to be going towards rising energy costs and support for locals to access culture at the museum, not just tourists. Groups such as educators, under 18s and journalists all receive subsidised museum entry.
Residents shielded from costs
Other price increases that will be felt keenly by some visitors to the city include the cost of a basic metro ticket, which will nearly double during the Olympics. Local residents will not have to pay the temporary rise. The regional President Valerie Pecresse defended the price hike on social media, saying: “During the Olympics and the Paralympics, the Ile de France region will dramatically increase its transport offer. It is out of question that the residents support that cost.”
#JOP2024 : @IDFmobilites va augmenter l’offre de transport pour les Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques de #Paris2024.— Valérie Pécresse (@vpecresse) November 27, 2023
Je refuse que ces surcoûts soient payés par les Franciliennes et les Franciliens. Qui va payer quoi entre le 20 juillet et le 8 septembre ? C’est ici ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/N6ZCBvFLR2
We want popular Games, and it can’t be popular Games at 700 euros a night.Frédéric Hocquard, Paris’ Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Nightlife
Meanwhile the Paris Tourist Office has noted that the cost and availability of hotel rooms during the Games is already proving a problem, releasing a report that found hotel prices would increase exponentially by around 314% between the 2023 and 2024 summers and that some accommodation providers seemed to be deliberately holding rooms to push up prices.
Expressing concern that some tourists will stay away if the city is not perceived as accessible to a range of demographics, the Deputy Mayor for tourism and nightlife told Reuters.