The coronavirus epidemic darkens the summer of 2020. Schools are expected to reopen gradually on May 11, but public gathering places, bars, restaurants and hotels, will remain closed. Tourism professionals fear the worst and wait helplessly for the government-appointed meeting in late May. Invited this week of Europe 1, the president of the Scientific Committee Covid-19 Jean-François Delfraissy indicated that "indications will probably be given by the beginning of June".
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"We hope the business will continue to live"
"In 53 years, this is the first time we have been there, all of April, with nobody. It looks like a no man's land", says Gé Kusters, who runs the campsite "Le Paradis". In this period of confinement, it is as if time had stopped in its establishment. The eight hectares, now empty of campers, nevertheless remain to be maintained, pending a hypothetical reopening, which should necessarily be gradual.
If the tents can be pitched at a good distance from each other, it is difficult to know when the swimming pool, the bar and the restaurant can safely accommodate tourists. "Yes it is anxiety-provoking because of all these uncertainties, of course. We hope that the company will continue to live", explains to Europe 1 Gé Kusters.
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60% loss of activity
That more French people compensate for the inevitable drop in the number of foreign tourists: this is what many professionals in the tourism sector hope for. This is the case of Denis Cippolini, owner of a 4 star hotel in Nice. He has just invested more than four and a half million euros in its renovation, but the employees are confined and the customers absent.
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"It allows me to start preparing all the rules that will allow us to have maximum health security, in particular by putting Plexiglas on our receptions", explains Denis Cippolini. Also president of the Nice-Côte d'Azur hotel and restaurant federation, he estimates that business activity will drop by almost 60% in 2020. Guest of Europe 1 this week, the president of the National Federation of the outdoor hotel explained that the objective in 2020 will be to "save the furniture".