France shrugs off its old habits to increase tourism even furtherI Athena Advisers15 June
The recently ratified “loi Macron” will see a number of measures put in place before the end of the year. Some of them are designed to boost France’s tourism appeal, even though it is already the most visited country on the planet. Whether you live in France or are just planning on a short stay soon, we list the changes below.
What’s the biggest news?
The main disposition of this law is that shops will be open more often on Sundays. 12 times a year is the current target, but shops will probably open 5 times a year initially. International Touristic Zones are to be created, enabling people to shop every Sunday and also during the week until midnight.
Other measures include inter-city buses that are able to reach the main French cities and new limits for toll charges. Some legal proceedings are also to be simplified, with notarial charges alleviated and the driving license procedure is to be streamlined.
Late night shopping, coming soon to Paris
When visiting France for a weekend many like to add a little shopping time to their itinerary. Until now visitors were only given this opportunity on Saturdays, until 7pm. However you will soon be able to walk down your favorite streets without facing closed windows.
The International Touristic Zones are located in Paris but also in the South of France (Nice and Cannes). Shops within these districts will be open everyday until midnight. Many train stations also are to be open seven days a week (Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon…etc).
National French travel to become easier
Transport measures are also being undertaken to make getting around France easier for visitors and residents alike. Generally the plan is to make them more effective and less expensive with the new express train running to from central Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport in less than 20 minutes.
More coach services for long distance journeys (above 100km) will alleviate train traffic with some 100 new bus lines are to be created. This should increase competition between competing transport modes translating savings to those using the systems. Air France has already felt this new pressure and has started to make enticing offers using its low-cost branch, “Hop!”.