The port of Saint-Tropez is witnessing a crowd of French tourists, most of them. However, the usual festive atmosphere in the summer is absent this year from the French tourist resort that is free of its regular visitors, from the rich and famous of the world in light of the outbreak of the emerging Corona virus “Covid-19”.
In the “Les” square, which is occupied by the practitioners of the popular betank game, Jeremy plays this game round after another under tall trees, and explains the man, who is a resident of Marseille in southeastern France, 20 years ago, we were supposed to travel to Germany, but we preferred to stay. In France this summer, visiting Saint-Tropez due to the virus.
Tourists came in large numbers despite the epidemic, but they are different from previous years, as Claude Maniscalco, Director of the Tourism Authority, points out that in the summer we usually have 85% of foreign tourists, and 15% of the French, but this year the tourists are 60% French.
This general trend is recorded along the French Cote d’Azur, in light of the improvement of reservations since July 20, and due to mostly French customers and from neighboring countries as well, according to the Tourism Committee in the region.
In another indication of the absence of foreign tourists, activity decreased by half this summer at Nice International Airport, according to the management of this airport, which is the closest to Saint-Tropez.
Officials in the tourism sector in Saint-Tropez say that the number of families that do not overconsumption is increasing, while reservations for daily tourist trips have decreased.
They are well-off French and European customers who stay in luxury hotels, but they do not spend in an exaggerated manner, as Russian or American tourists do, explains George Giroud, a local official in Saint-Tropez.
The port’s director, Jean-Francois Touré, confirms from his work center, from which he overlooks the queue of boats waiting to dock, the situation is better than last summer, the port is almost full every evening, but the number of large yachts is less, as we have boats less than 40 meters in length.
Since last July, Touré has recorded an increase of 43% for boats flying the French flag, while huge yachts owned by the rich and famous of the world, especially from Russia, the United States and the Gulf countries, dock at the port of this small city on the Mediterranean.
A few meters away, in the commercial streets near the old fishing port, Chloé Coulomb, the manager of a store selling luxury leather goods, announces that she was positively surprised by the July result, and added that we did not record losses thanks to the sales, but we realize that the very rich who spend without any deterrence, are not Here it is limited to small purchases.
In the recent period, the situation has worsened with the increase in infections with the new Corona virus in cafes and restaurants, so wearing a mask has become mandatory in the city since the beginning of this month.
At the Troyes Palmeier hotel on Leis Square, Reservations Officer Diane explains that about ten reservations have been canceled since this measure was adopted, and considering that this is unfortunate, she indicates that the hotel is full every evening, hoping that the situation will continue like this.
Many hotels and restaurants in Saint-Tropez were forced to close their doors, after injuries were recorded among their employees, including the very famous Cinque Café.
And the French actress Brigitte Bardot contributed to the fame of this café in the mid-1950s, when she sat there regularly during the filming of the movie “E Dieu Crea La Femme”.
Pioneering Matisse and Picasso, as well as fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and the late French President Jacques Chirac, were also pioneers in this café, which is famous for its red seats.
In Saint-Tropez, the beaches of Papillon and Ramatouille, known for their nightlife and partying, patrons stopped heading to the closed party venues, and started to celebrate in places not specifically designated for that.