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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Workers’ strike disrupts tourist visits to Eiffel Tower

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Paris, France—The Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s top tourist attractions, was closed Monday after staff went on strike, unions told Agence France Presse (AFP).

The strike, which was called to protest over the way the monument is managed financially, could be extended, they said.

The tower’s operator, SETE, said on its website that “visits [to] the monument will be disrupted on Monday.”

It advised ticket holders to check its website before showing up, or to postpone their visit. E-ticket holders were asked to check their emails for further information.

The stoppage is the second strike at the Eiffel Tower within two months for the same reason.

Unions have criticized operator SETE for its business model that they say is based on an inflated estimate of future visitor numbers, while under-estimating construction costs.

The Eiffel Tower—Paris’s most famous landmark—attracts nearly seven million visitors a year, around three-quarters of them foreigners, according to its website.

During the Covid pandemic numbers dropped sharply due to closures and travel restrictions, but recovered to 5.9 million in 2022.

Visitor numbers to Paris are expected to swell this summer as the French capital hosts the Olympic Games.

In a joint statement, the CGT and FO unions called on the city of Paris “to be reasonable with their financial demands to ensure the survival of the monument and the company operating it.”

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