The Eiffel Tower is closed in wake of Friday’s attacks in Paris. In addition, travel plans will also be impacted by the terrorist attacks.
According to a recent report via CNN, thousands of travelers will have to put their plans on hold. Major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower are closed indefinitely. However, flights and rail connections to Paris and the rest of France are currently operating. There is a large military and police presence in the country’s capital. Hundreds of tourists made their way to the tower on Sunday where they were met by the heavily armed soldiers guarding the area and a yellow sign that read, “Tower Eiffel fermée.”
French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency along with three days of mourning in the country. Not only did the Eiffel Tower go dark on Friday night, but it was closed on Saturday and will remain closed until further notice, according to its official website. The major tourist attraction normally operates 365 days a year. Along with the major attractions, Disneyland Paris closed and will remain so through Tuesday as part of France’s mourning period.
The Eiffel Tower has become a major icon on social media in recent days because it’s the symbol of the French capital. French illustrator Jean Jullien transformed the Eiffel Tower into a peace symbol, which has quickly gone viral on social media. This image has become a way for people across the globe to show their support and solidarity for France during this difficult time.
Should the Eiffel Tower be closed permanently? Some agree that closing it was the right thing to do, but it shouldn’t be forever.
“I think it should be closed for security reasons,” Eloise Lazada told the Washington Post. But the 51-year-old tourist from the Philippines believes that keeping it closed will only let the terrorists win.
“It’s exactly what the terrorist want, for people to be frightened. In order to show these people that they are not afraid, life should go on.”
Vanguelis Panayotis from the MGK group, a tourism research firm headquartered in Paris, doesn’t think the Eiffel Tower will close for good since it’s a symbolic attraction.
“The Eiffel Tower is very iconic, that’s why I don’t believe they will keep it closed for long,” he said.
Paris is one of the most popular cities to visit. For many travelers who come to the bustling city, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular attractions. It attracts as many as 20,000 travelers daily.
In addition, tourism is a huge part of France’s economy. It accounts for 9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
But is it still wise to visit the most romantic city in the world in light with the recent terror attacks?
TV tour guide Rick Steves shared a message on both his blog and Facebook page saying that travelers shouldn’t be scared off from going to Paris. He called the recent terrorist attacks an “isolated incident.” In his post, Steves also recalled the 2004 train bombing in Madrid that kill 191 and injured over 1,800 people, and the 2005 train and bus bombings in London that killed 52 and injured over 700 victims. Travelers still frequented these popular cities to this day.
“There’s an important difference between fear and risk. … I believe we owe it to the victims of this act not to let the terrorists win by being terrorized. These societies tightened their security, got the bad guys, and carried on. Paris will, too.”
Of course it’s important for travelers to decide whether or not taking a trip to Paris would be too risky. If you feel uneasy or nervous about your trip, then it may be a good enough reason not to travel.
Travelers have also been warned that there are tightened border controls around the city, along with heightened security inside the city. Getting to and from places may be restricted. How do you feel about the news of the Eiffel Tower remaining closed? Do you think it’s the right thing to do? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
[Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]