However, confidential expert reports cited by Marianne suggest the monument is in disrepair and riddled with rust.
“It’s simple, if Gustave Eiffel visited the place he would have a heart attack,” an anonymous tower manager told Marianne.
The Eiffel Tower Exploitation Company (SETE) could not be reached for comment.
The tower is being repainted at a cost of €60 million in preparation for the 2024 Olympics, the 20th time it has been repainted.
30% of the tower was supposed to be stripped and then 2 new coats applied, but work delays caused by the COVID pandemic and lead in old paint means only 5 %, Marianne said.
SETE is reluctant to close the tower for a long time because of the tourist revenue that would be lost, he added.
The Parisian monument attracts about 20,000 people a day, just like in the old days. “School holidays and sunny weekends confirmed its appeal in the nearby French and European markets,” said Jean Martins, president of SATE, in an interview with the AFP agency in May.
The strong return of the Europeans (60%), the presence of the Americans (17%) and the French (15%) are the strong trends after two closures, of a cumulative duration of one year, due to covid-19.
This partially compensates for the slow restart of the work of tour operators and the absence of “distant markets”, in particular the Asian ones.
The Eiffel Tower, which has received 1.6 million visitors since the beginning of the year, plans 5.5 million entries for 2022, “10% less than in 2019”, the last reference year.
“This may sound very positive, but the missing 10% is our margin,” Martins sums up.
And if the deficit for 2021 was lower than expected thanks to “a good end of the year”, 43 million instead of 70, after 52 million in 2020, SETE “will have a difficult year” financially in 2022.
On the water, this will be the opening of the Olympic Games in Paris-2024
“This new deficit situation will most likely require a new recapitalization” by the company’s shareholders, indicates its president, who is still waiting for specific help from the State.
With information from AFP and Reuters