While the government has encouraged the French to go on vacation near their homes this summer, concern is mounting among tourism professionals. On the French Riviera, restaurant owners, beach attendants and other coffee makers have prepared themselves not to see tourists from the end of the world or even from neighboring countries coming. But they relied heavily on French customers to save the season.
René Colomban, president of the Nice beach owners, is worried about a tragic fate in the face of this situation: "We are not going to die from the coronavirus but we are going to die economically, this is no better ...".
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"We're only going to work with the locals, it's insufficient"
At present, travel more than 100 km from home is prohibited for French people, unless there are compelling reasons. "If we reduce the number of kilometers for travel, we will only work with the locals," says the president of the Nice beach owners. "Even if Nice is a big city, it is not enough and it does not allow to do the season normally."
By this summer, a lot can change. In any case, this is what many traders hope. They are especially obsessed with one thing: the date of reopening of their establishment. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe hinted at the possibility of reopening in early June during his speech to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
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They hope to limit the breakage
And if beach managers, restaurateurs and hoteliers cannot reopen on May 11, other merchants such as hairdressers or clothing sellers will resume business on that date. Moreover, Philippe Desjardins, president of the federation of commerce and crafts of Nice, believes that they will serve as an example because "if it works for us, it will work for restaurateurs in early June, the machine will be restarted".
Crowded beaches and parasols as far as the eye can see are not on the program this year on the beaches of the Mediterranean, but traders hope to at least limit the breakage.