Things to know ahead of visiting Paris for the 2024 Olympics


By AGENCY

A file photo of the Olympic rings with Paris' iconic Eiffel Tower in the background. — Reuters

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in France are among the most eagerly anticipated global events of next year. Here’s what travellers should know about the upcoming games.

The 2024 Olympics will be held from July 26 to Aug 11 throughout the Paris metro area and beyond. An estimated 15.3 million visitors are expected to visit Paris and its surrounding areas during the Olympics, with an estimated 3.3 million of these as attendees. The vast majority of these visitors are expected to be from France (13.4 million), while the city will welcome an estimated 1.9 million international travellers.

The city estimates travellers will spend €2.6bil (RM13bil) overall, with €1.9bil (RM9.5bil) being spent at the Olympic Games. International visitors are expected to contribute to 38.5% of this spending at the Olympic Games, and 31.2% at the Paralympic Games.

TravelPulse interviewed Corinne Menegaux, managing director at Paris Je T’aime Tourist Office, to learn more.

Prep work

The city has been preparing for the event, the largest one it has ever hosted, in a variety of ways that are expected to change the city forever, from purifying the Seine to allow for the swimming events to take place in the storied river – and even after – to increasing bike lanes to allow for greener transportation to and from the games.

“Legacy is a very important aspect of the organisation of the Olympics and was a prerequisite in Paris candidacy. The games must have a positive impact on the territory, for its inhabitants and visitors alike,” said Menegaux.

“The ambition of Paris in terms of transport is that 100% of visitors can go to the competition sites by public transport or active transport (bike, for example). There already is a biking network of 1,000km in Paris.

“And in 2024, 100% of the competition’s sites will be accessible by bike,” she continued. “The goal of Paris 2024 is that 20% of the commute be made by bike. Paris wishes to welcome people with disabilities in the best possible conditions. The 185km of Olympic lanes will be open to vehicles designed to facilitate the transport of people with reduced mobility.”

The river Seine at night in Paris. Some of the swimming events in next year’s Olympics will be held at the river. The river Seine at night in Paris. Some of the swimming events in next year’s Olympics will be held at the river.

City becomes a stage

Paris is viewing its job as a host city very differently than previous Olympic host cities: Instead of building a totally new complex to host the events, its most iconic attractions, landmarks and destinations will become Olympic stadiums and arenas. In fact, 90% of the locations for the Olympic Games already exist.

“... the Grand Palais will host fencing and taekwondo, the Place de la Concorde will host the new Olympic sports: breakdance, skateboard, BMX, and basketball 3x3,” said Menegaux.

“At the foot of the Eiffel Tower, beach volleyball competitions will take place, and on the Champs-de-Mars, judo and wheelchair rugby. And of course, the Seine will have a very special place in the celebrations, as it will be the highlight of the opening ceremony and will inaugurate swimming in the river.”

Just outside of Paris, other Olympic events will take place in and near attractions such as the Palace of Versailles, which will host the equestrian games for both the Olympics and the Paralympics. A selection of events will be held across France, from Bordeaux to Marseille, while the second Olympic surfing competition will take place in Teahupo’o in Tahiti.“It is worth discovering to see Paris differently, outside of the more classic touristic routes. We are also excited to open our new ‘SPOT24’ venue, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It puts the new Olympic disciplines and urban cultures centre stage when it opens in autumn 2023,” said Menegaux.

“A unique, multidisciplinary, and immersive exhibition will honour 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. The aim of the exhibition is to promote ‘Olympism’ and the bridges between sport, culture and art. SPOT24 will be a place where everyone can live, share and meet: urban, sporting and cultural communities, Parisians, foreign visitors.”

Be a part of the event

There are several ways that travellers can get involved or attend the Paris Olympics and Paralympics. Travellers who’d like to attend can purchase tickets for specific competitions. Tickets for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games can be purchased now on a first-come basis. The official ticketing website also offers travel and hospitality packages offering exclusive benefits for attendees, including hotel and ticket packages. Visit www.paris2024.org/en/tickets.

Additionally, travellers visiting France from May 8, 2024, through to the beginning of the Paris Summer Olympics can also attend a portion of the two month-long Olympic Torch Relay as it is carried across France’s most iconic natural and cultural landmarks from Olympia, Greece to Paris. – TravelPulse/Tribune News Service

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