Friday, June 14, 2024

Climbing iconic Eiffel Tower all set to become more expensive; know why

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The iconic Eiffel Tower is not only one of the popular tourist destinations in the world, but also serves as a symbol of splendour capturing the hearts of millions. However, recent headlines with regard to the rise in ticket prices have met with mixed reactions from both locals and tourists alike. If reports are to go by, visitors to this renowned landmark will now have to face a significant hike in ticket prices, which is slated to come into effect from June 17.

If reports are to go by, this striking increase, a staggering 20 percent surge, has been greenlit by the Paris City Hall, reflecting a multifaceted response to spiralling renovation expenses and the economic strain exacerbated by recent challenges.

When Gustave Eiffel unveiled his masterpiece in 1887, he wisely advocated for a fresh coat of paint every seven years to stave off the relentless advance of rust. However, it seems that this advice have been neglected for the longest time, with the French monument languishing without a comprehensive paint job for over a decade.

So, what do these changes entail? Here are the specifics:

Climbing iconic Eiffel Tower all set to become more expensive; know why

In practical terms, the new ticket prices entail an adult fare, inclusive of an elevator ride to the summit, soaring to 35.30 euros ($38.31) from its previous rate of 29.40 euros ($31.91), as per the reports. Similarly, ticket costs for children aged 12 to 14 will surge to 17.70 euros ($19.21), while younger visitors aged four to 11 will see their fares rise to 8.90 euros ($9.66).

This price adjustment has been spurred, in part, by a substantial revenue shortfall attributed to the ‘health crisis’ spanning from 2020 to 2022, alongside escalating renovation expenditures.

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The tumultuous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global tourism reverberated through the Eiffel Tower, with visitor numbers plummeting amid closures and travel restrictions. In 2020, the footfall dwindled to less than 1.6 million, a stark departure from the previous year’s nearly 6.2 million. While subsequent years witnessed a gradual recovery, with visitor numbers inching towards 6.3 million in 2023, the financial strains persisted.

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In response to these challenges, the Paris City Council ratified a series of measures aimed at shoring up the tower’s finances. This includes a recapitalisation plan for the Eiffel Tower’s operator, Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), coupled with a reduction in the annual fee charged to the operator for managing the monument.

Despite these efforts, dissent lingered, with unions voicing concerns over the adequacy of the allocated funds vis-à-vis the monument’s pressing maintenance needs. A strike earlier this year underscored these grievances, underscoring the imperative for sustainable financial solutions.

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Looking ahead, as Paris gears up to host the 2024 Olympics, travellers should brace themselves for heightened expenses. The Eiffel Tower, a timeless symbol of Parisian allure, stands at a crossroads, beckoning for sustained support to preserve its legacy for generations to come.

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