The Perfect Reasons For Saying Yes To Coming To France
Yesterday I encountered one of the new Paris Tourist Board information points (there are seven) in the Opéra Métro station. Until this past January, there was only one “Office de Tourisme” on the Champs-Elysées and thus the only place to get information! The new headquarters is now at 25, rue de Pyramides in the 1st arrondissement. If you didn’t already know it, this is the most visited spot on the planet with 78 million foreign tourists having visited France last year and among them, 26 million visited Paris.
Maison de la France, the French Government Tourist Office, is working hard to get Americans back to France and this is the perfect year to say yes to coming.
Start by ordering up a complimentary 96-page travel planner available in both English and Spanish called “Make It Your Own” by visiting http://www.franceguide.com/us or contact the FGTO public information hotline “France-on-Call” at 410-286-8310.
France is paying tribute this year to the 60th Anniversary of D-Day with “Operation Open Arms” by Maison de la France, The French Government Tourist Office, along with its partners Air France, Rail Europe and the Normandy Tourist Board. Operation Open Arms is a 15-city media tour of the U.S., to promote travel to France, pursuing its “Let’s Fall in Love Again” campaign.
Official ceremonies for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy have been confirmed, so mark your calendars for June 6th 9:30 a.m. for the French-American Ceremony at Utah Beach. For all the other ceremonies times and places visit http://us.franceguide.com/magazine/article.asp?idc=10269&
More news is that Maison de la France is trying to combat the dropping value of the dollar. If you join “Club France” for an annual membership of just $25.00, it’s valid for up to five family members and a “Club France V.I.P.” card entitles the holder and family to a personalized welcome and discounts of at least 10% and up to 30% on the rates and prices of Club France partners such as hotels, car rentals, restaurants, cultural institutions and others. There are over 1,000 partners in Paris and the rest of France. For more information about how to make France more affordable, visit http://us.franceguide.com/clubfrance/home.asp?ref=FGTOe31
And while you’re here, don’t bother with a car. The most comfortable and carefree way to get anywhere in France is by train. Economical railpasses with discounts for couples or groups, seniors and youth, plus Rail ‘n Drive passes, point-to-point tickets, tour products and an informative website from Rail Europe make it easy for travelers to take full advantage of France’s extensive network of high-speed and conventional trains. For more information call 1-888-382-7245 or visit http://www.raileurope.com.
More savings on travel comes from American Airlines to “honor the sacrifice of those who served long ago in the defense of life and liberty” — passengers born before January 1, 1930, are offered special discount fares to France: $504 round trip for travel originating in the eastern region of the 48 continental United States; $604 round trip for travel originating in the central region; and $704 for travel beginning in the western region. Tickets must be purchased by April 15, 2004. Travel is valid commencing June 1 through August 31, with all travel completed by September 15, 2004. This approximates the time it took the Allies to liberate France. For more information call American Airlines at (800) 433-1790 and reference STAARfile 2664AZ when calling.
So…what’s YOUR excuse for not coming this Summer? France is making it easier all the time! And remember, don’t be surprised if the next time you’re here, you get “la maladie” and never want to leave.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
P.S. For more from Maison de la France, visit the official site at http://www.franceguide.com/prehome.asp