Invited on Wednesday from Europe 1, Jean-François Martins, the president of the Eiffel Tower operating company, explained that attendance at the most famous monument in France was divided by seven due to the health crisis triggered by the Covid.
In 131 years of existence, it has seen two world wars, three regime changes, a few strikes, and now a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude.
Since the end of confinement, the Eiffel Tower, the most visited paying monument in the world with an average of 6.5 million curious people, has been living in slow motion.
"We are in a somewhat special period, the holidays are over, the borders are not all reopened. The activity is very degraded, with 2,000 visitors per day against 13,000 or 14,000 usually", confides to the microphone of Europe Matin Jean-François Martins, chairman of the Eiffel Tower Operating Company (SETE).
If the monument is now running at a loss, there is no question of letting it close.
"This beautiful tower cannot close, we cannot be in accounting calculations", explains François Martins.
"The Eiffel Tower is a monument of our national heritage, it is a public company which lives in the name of the public service."
>> Find all the newspapers of the editorial staff of Europe 1 in replay and podcast here
The ideal time to visit the Eiffel Tower, without mass tourism
He hopes a return of European tourists by next spring, enough to strengthen the income of the monument whose maintenance requires permanent investments.
"There are fewer visitors and therefore we must continue to maintain this gem, finish the twentieth painting campaign, renovate the elevator, prepare the future of the tower, invest", lists the owner of the monument who wants to counter bad luck good heart.
"The great tourist flows of the world are almost at a standstill. Today, it is perhaps the best time for the French, for the Parisians, to come and visit the Eiffel Tower!"
>> Six months after the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Europe 1 is gaining height and is interested in the next four months which promise to be decisive for France: economic and ecological recovery, tourism but also the fight against epidemic.
Matthieu Belliard, accompanied by his columnists and editorial writers from the resort, is offering a special morning session this Wednesday from the Eiffel Tower, a major French and global tourism hub and symbol of the country's attractiveness, to better decipher and understand what is happening draw.