Traffic in Paris is very complicated at certain times and it is largely caused by thousands of projects carried out by the City Council probably in preparation for the next municipal elections. However, now the municipality is attacking tour buses and plans to limit tourism.
In 2018, Paris registered around 35 million visitors (with hotel accommodation), or more than 50 million tourists overall. There have been several issues that the council needs to solve regarding tourism. First, there are thousands of vacation rentals on Airbnb and other platforms. These, as in other big cities, are a threat to permanent tenants. The City Hall had promised to limit the rentals. However, apart from a few high-profile cases, there are very few controls in relation to the number of ads for shared accommodation.
The Town Hall takes its time to make radical decisions about scooters that run on sidewalks and run red lights. Pedestrians are overwhelmed. Accidents happen almost daily. Here again, however, the controls are almost absent.
The multiplication of construction works in Paris becomes a real headache for traffic. Currently, there are approximately 7,400 projects being done in Paris. But the City Council claims that it is responsible for just over 600 works.
Among these works and poorly adapted bike lanes, one can imagine the congestion in the capital. On the other hand, for the residents, nothing is done concerning the noise. Just walk on a boulevard to hear the infernal noise of motorcycles and certain vehicles.
Moreover, many tourists have been victims of pickpockets. Both the City Hall and the police seem to be overwhelmed by the phenomenon.
The tourist guides deplore “a lack of places for buses, increasingly violent pickpockets, queues in front of the few toilets available, scams at entrance tickets to some museums, too much waste on the sidewalks…”. Obviously, the list is long. And to top it all off, the town hall would like to ban tour buses.
Emmanuel Grégoire, a deputy to the Mayor of Paris, explained that the city wants to ban tour buses from the center. He added: “Tourists, like everyone else, should switch to public transport or environmentally friendly means of transport, such as cycling.”
An absurdity for people of a certain age, especially the difficulty for a stranger to find his way around.
According to the Town Hall, tour guides must adapt their economic model to the constraints of the city. For example, they could offer audio-visual tours by bike or on foot! One wonders if the (current) elected officials are well aware of what tourists bring to France and Paris. Tourism is an essential activity. If the country was more welcoming, the revenues would be much higher.