Last week Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that, despite France being the most visited country in the world, welcoming 83 million tourists each year, the government wished to boost numbers even further to 100 million.
With a tourism sector that already provides employment for around two million people, the plan is to encourage visitors to stay longer by improving areas of weakness. Good news for shoppers, part of Fabius’s strategy involves more areas being classified as tourist sites, so shops and food and drink outlets can open on Sundays.
Paris’s Gare du Nord, particularly the Eurostar section, will be revamped. Fabius said when compared with stations such as Saint-Pancras in London, it just doesn’t stand up, despite it being Europe’s leading railway station. A special programme is going to be launched to renovate the station between 2014 and 2017 so that passengers travelling in and out of the station have a vastly improved experience.
Another area for improvement is the link between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris’s city centre. A reasonable flat rate for taxis going to and from the airport will be introduced, and the CDG Express should be launched in 2023. The goal is for people to be able to reach the city from the airport in twenty minutes.
There are over one million Chinese visitors coming to Paris each year, and – despite being extremely healthy figures – the government has also stated that it wishes to boost this number even further. Fabius told Le Monde that the initiative for Chinese visas to be obtained in 48 hours had been a great success and that between 30% and 250% more visas have been delivered than before. This will also be extended over the next twelve months to include some of the Gulf countries, South Africa and India. Visa applicants will also no longer need to show a hotel reservation to obtain the visa.
With better links from Charles de Gaulle Airport into the centre planned for the future – and faster visas for many – it will be easier than ever before to fly in to Paris for the weekend and quickly make the transfer to a warm and welcoming city apartment.
Here are three Parisian apartments in the heart of the city that could provide the ideal residence for weekends in the city or longer vacations with friends.
This stunning two-bedroom apartment (HH-8082912) is located in the attic of a beautiful building in the 6th arrondissement. A high quality renovation, it offers stunning views of Paris, bright airy rooms and is a stone’s throw from the restaurants and cafes in the fashionable St Germain des Prés area. The property currently has an asking price of €2,950,000.
On the third floor of a Haussmannian building between rue du Bac and the Esplanade des Invalides, in the 7th arrondissement, lies this exquisitely-designed luxury apartment in Paris (HH-7488749). The property has two bedrooms – but as it has an office also offers an option for a third – and is also sold with a storeroom and cellar. It is on the market for a highly competitive €1,800,000.
Close to the timeless Parc Monceau Gardens, this sun-filled three-bedroom apartment (HH-7495908) is located on the fourth floor of another classic Haussmannian building and also has a balcony. The interiors have been elegantly styled and it features original hard wood flooring throughout. With the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées just a ten-minute walk away, the €1,575,000 price tag on this property makes it highly tempting.
For more details about these properties visit www.home-hunts.com, but to speak to a Home Hunts consultant directly, contact: +33 (0)970 44 66 43