“Just make sure to wear a lot of sunscreen”: French Ambassador says tourism is safe for peak summer period

“Just make sure to wear a lot of sunscreen”: French Ambassador says tourism is safe for peak summer period

His Excellency, Jean-Pierre Thébaultthe French ambassador to Australia believes that the French tourism season is safe for all despite recent civil unrest across the country.

Last week, Smarttraveller updated its warning for Australian travellers headed to France, “Since 27 June, riots have occurred across France which have turned violent, leading to the destruction of property including vehicles, shops, police stations and schools,” the site, said.

“Be particularly vigilant at night and avoid all demonstrations and areas with significant police activity.”

An overturned car on fire during the fourth night of protests. (Source: The Guardian – YouTube)

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Mr Thébault said tourists can be confident of their holiday plans to France this summer.

“They all will be truly welcomed,” he said.

“And will be able to visit in full confidence. The situation has already calmed down.

“Despite providing impressive photo opportunities for some medias, incidents were extremely localized.

“July and August are the peak tourism season and all France has prepared to welcome our international visitors.

“I was recently myself in regional France. In Provence and Ile de Ré. The season promises to be fabulous. Just make sure to wear a lot of sunscreen!”

Obligatory shot of ‘The City of Love’.

Civil unrest as we have seen in recent days is something the French government will hope to keep a lid on as they prepare to host the 2024 Olympic Games in July and August next year.

Mr Thébault says the millions who will attend the games should very much advance on their plans to enjoy the sixth Olympic Games in France.

“The French Olympic Committee has prepared a fantastic programme where all major sports will be on grandiose sites, linked to French history, such as Versailles, the Champ de Mars,” he said.

“But do not forget: the Olympic Games will also take place in Marseille, a place and region to really visit… As well as in the Pacific: all surf competitions will be in Tahiti, in French Polynesia. A first!

France will host the Olympic Games for the sixth time next year. (iStock – Daniel Bartus)

“On top of that Australian athletes I know are preparing intensively and are eager to do even better than in Tokyo, which was already great Games for Australia. I so expect that Australia will perform great.

“And Australians are powerful supporters! Best to be on site to express your enthusiasm. And whatever the outcomes, all France is worth to be discovered and rediscovered again and again!”

Up to 10 million tickets will be sold to the third Olympic Games held in Paris next year.

Riots in France broke out after a 17-year-old French citizen was intercepted by police who failed to provide a driver’s license and was under the legal driving age.

According to the Attorney General in charge of the case, the situation escalated when the driver refused to comply with French police and sped away, he was ultimately shot and passed away from his injuries.

Demonstrations have since spread through Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Lille and as far as Belgium.

Mr Thébault comments echo the sentiment of French minister, Bruno Le Maire, who told the  U.K’s Daily Telegraph, “All the major democracies today are faced with this kind of problem.”

“Our British friends should be happy to visit France and have no fear.”

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