Tourism

Eiffel Tower closed as “monstrous” queues cause strike

The Eiffel Tower has been forced to turn away tourists for a second day as a worker strike over a new access policy continues.

According to France24, the tourism hotspot has been closed since Wednesday following union clashes with management over a decision to assign separate elevators to tourists with pre-booked tickets.

The new policy also means half of the day’s tickets must be set aside for internet customers, up from the previous 20 per cent.

Workers said the changes have resulted in “monstrous” lines that can extend three hours for those waiting to pay on the day versus an hour for internet customers.

People on Champ de Mars with Eiffel Tower on background

Management claims the lines aren’t any worse than before, with France24 putting last year’s number of visitors at 6.2 million.

“The SETE is well aware of the disappointment for visitors because of the monument’s closure, and its negative impact on the image of both the city and country,” the monument’s operator, SETE said in a statement.

“It offers its apologies to everyone — Parisians and French as well as foreign tourists.”

“It’s unfortunate to end up here, with visitors being penalised, but we did everything to avoid it,” said Denis Vavassori of CGT union told France 24. 

It is not currently clear if the strike will continue, but the SETE has indicated it might be willing to give the union’s plan a go.

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