Friday, May 29, 2020

American supporters in Lyon, a boon for the city

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Colette, Lori and Shirley intend to make the most of their trip to France. After a few days in Paris, the Californians accompanied by the two teenagers from Colette disembarked on Monday in Lyon (Rhône). Their goal: the Women’s Football World Cup, the semi-finals and the final of which are played in Lyon, in the presence of the American team.

But also, the discovery of the city. “We are having a good time,” recognizes Colette, a football fan and footballer herself, by buying the maps of the city that will allow them to discover Lyon in all its aspects. “We take advantage of French gastronomy, good wines and champagne”.

17,000 “World Cup packs” sold

Between two “traffic jams” in Lyon, Californians offer themselves beautiful afternoons of shopping, but also visits to the old town. “After the final on Sunday, we will leave for Nice, then it will be Paris again,” says Colette, who received this trip as a gift for her 50th birthday.

Colette, Shirley and Lori came from California./LP/Catherine Lagrange

Colette, Shirley and Lori are among 20,000 Americans who have arrived since Monday to support their women’s soccer team. 17,000 “World Cup packs” including tickets, accommodation and transport, were sold to American supporters, not counting those accompanying them. A boon for the city.

“A cultivated public with high purchasing power”

“I have never seen a sporting event that brings such curiosity to the city”, rejoices François Gaillard, director general of Only Lyon tourism and congress, “We have doubled the guided tours, but that is no longer enough, we are robbed, we had to reschedule emergency visits ”. Guided tours are therefore full, as are the districts of the city classified as Unesco heritage, museums, cruises on the Rhone and Saône, hotels, Airbnb, restaurants, bars… “All day trips such as the Wine Tour in the Beaujolais or in the Côtes Rôties, visits to the medieval city of Pérouges, or even Annecy or Chamonix and the Aiguille du midi can also be enjoyed like hotcakes ” , says François Gaillard again.

American and foreign tourists brought by this World Cup presents a particular and appreciable profile for the organizing city. “This event attracts a female and family audience who travels to combine business with pleasure, it is a cultivated audience and with high purchasing power,” says the director of tourism in Lyon, “The Americans already ranked second among foreign visitors. They are very good customers. One can imagine that the current crowds will lead to new trips for the years to come because we know that it is generally women who plan the holidays ”. In short: “For Lyon, this World Cup is the Jack-pot! “

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