The Eiffel Tower will be evaluating flows of people from the 2nd to the 3rd floor in April. Groups wishing to access the top will have to book for the 2nd floor and then buy tickets on the spot to reach the 3rd floor. They say that they must carry out this test at peak visitor times for it to be worthwhile. This does not affect prices but clearly creates a logistical challenge.
At present this volume test will also be in place at the beginning of June but the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has been informed that this is subject to review. This has not been widely communicated and most operators are finding out by default when they try and book tickets online. ETOA has expressed dismay at the lack of consultation and information on this front. “The Eiffel Tower received 6.7 million visitors in 2010, making it one of the most popular sites in France,” said Nick Greenfield, Head of Tour Operator Relations at ETOA.
”We recognize the challenge that such a volume of people represents, particularly at peak times, but that is all the more reason to consult closely with the industry. Leaving operators to find out as they try to book is not good practice. Removing the booking system at peak times, and at short notice, to see what effect it has on visitor flow is a strangely chaotic approach to capacity management. Canvassing travel professionals first, such as our members, would seem to be a less painful way of dealing with the whole issue.”
He added, “The Eiffel Tower [was] responsive last year regarding group ticketing; we hope they will be again this time.”
Please keep the ETOA informed of your experiences with this so it may best represent the industry’s interests – email: email@example.com .